26 August 2022 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of several chronic diseases. In this multicohort study, we estimated the number of life-years without major chronic diseases according to different characteristics of alcohol use.

METHODS: In primary analysis, we pooled individual-level data from up to 129,942 adults across 12 cohort studies with baseline data collection on alcohol consumption, drinking patterns, and history between 1986 and 2005 (the IPD-Work Consortium). Self-reported alcohol consumption was categorised according to UK guidelines - non-drinking (never or former drinkers); moderate consumption (1-14 units); heavy consumption (>14 units per week). We further subdivided moderate and heavy drinkers by binge drinking pattern (alcohol-induced loss of consciousness). In addition, we assessed problem drinking using linked data on hospitalisations due to alcohol abuse or poisoning. Follow-up for chronic diseases for all participants included incident type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, and respiratory disease (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) as ascertained via linkage to national morbidity and mortality registries, repeated medical examinations, and/or self-report. We estimated years lived without any of these diseases between 40 and 75 years of age according to sex and characteristics of alcohol use. We repeated the main analyses using data from 427,621 participants in the UK Biobank cohort study.

FINDINGS: During 1.73 million person-years at risk, 22,676 participants in IPD-Work cohorts developed at least one chronic condition. From age 40 to 75 years, never-drinkers [men: 29.3 (95%CI 27.9-30.8) years, women 29.8 (29.2-30.4) years)] and moderate drinkers with no binge drinking habit [men 28.7 (28.4-29.0) years, women 29.6 (29.4-29.7) years] had the longest disease-free life span. A much shorter disease-free life span was apparent in participants who experienced alcohol poisoning [men 23.4 (20.9-26.0) years, women 24.0 (21.4-26.5) years] and those with self-reported heavy overall consumption and binge drinking [men: 26.0 (25.3-26.8), women 27.5 (26.4-28.5) years]. The pattern of results for alcohol poisoning and self-reported alcohol consumption was similar in UK Biobank. In IPD-Work and UK Biobank, differences in disease-free years between self-reported moderate drinkers and heavy drinkers were 1.5 years or less.

INTERPRETATION: Individuals with alcohol poisonings or heavy self-reported overall consumption combined with a binge drinking habit have a marked 3- to 6-year loss in healthy longevity. Differences in disease-free life between categories of self-reported weekly alcohol consumption were smaller. Funding: Medical Research Council, National Institute on Aging, NordForsk, Academy of Finland, Finnish Work Environment Fund.

26 August 2022 In Drinking Patterns

This review discusses the inconsistent recommendations on alcohol consumption and its association with chronic disease, highlighting the need for an evidence-based consensus. Alcohol is an addictive substance consumed worldwide, especially in European countries. Recommendations on alcohol consumption are controversial.

On one hand, many nonrandomized studies defend that moderate consumption has a beneficial cardiovascular effect or a lower risk of all-cause mortality. On the other hand, alcohol is associated with an increased risk of cancer, neurological diseases, or injuries, among others.

For years, efforts have been made to answer the question regarding the safe amount of alcohol intake, but controversies remain. Observational studies advocate moderate alcohol consumption following a Mediterranean pattern (red wine with meals avoiding binge drinking) as the best option for current drinkers.

However, agencies such as the IARC recommend abstention from alcohol as it is a potent carcinogen. In this context, more randomized trial with larger sample size and hard clinical endpoints should be conducted to clarify the available evidence and provide clinicians with support for their clinical practice.

15 June 2022 In Drinking Patterns

This review discusses the inconsistent recommendations on alcohol consumption and its association with chronic disease, highlighting the need for an evidence-based consensus. Alcohol is an addictive substance consumed worldwide, especially in European countries. Recommendations on alcohol consumption are controversial. On one hand, many nonrandomized studies defend that moderate consumption has a beneficial cardiovascular effect or a lower risk of all-cause mortality. On the other hand, alcohol is associated with an increased risk of cancer, neurological diseases, or injuries, among others. For years, efforts have been made to answer the question regarding the safe amount of alcohol intake, but controversies remain. Observational studies advocate moderate alcohol consumption following a Mediterranean pattern (red wine with meals avoiding binge drinking) as the best option for current drinkers. However, agencies such as the IARC recommend abstention from alcohol as it is a potent carcinogen. In this context, more randomized trial with larger sample size and hard clinical endpoints should be conducted to clarify the available evidence and provide clinicians with support for their clinical practice.

23 February 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption potentially influences psychological well-being in beneficial and harmful ways, but prospective studies on the association show mixed results. Our main purpose was to examine prospective associations between alcohol consumption and psychological well-being in middle-aged men and women.

METHODS: The study sample included 4148 middle-aged individuals (80% men) from the Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank who reported their alcohol consumption (average weekly consumption and frequency of binge drinking) at baseline in 2004 or 2006 and reported their psychological well-being (satisfaction with life and vitality) at follow-up in 2009-2011. Analyses were adjusted for sociodemographic factors, lifestyle, social relations, and morbidity.

RESULTS: For satisfaction with life at follow-up, lower scores were observed in men and women who were alcohol abstinent at baseline as well as in men with heavy alcohol consumption compared with moderate alcohol consumption at baseline. Moreover, men with weekly binge drinking at baseline had lower satisfaction with life scores at follow-up than men with moderate frequency of binge drinking (1-3 times/month). In relation to vitality at follow-up, alcohol abstinence at baseline in men and women and heavy alcohol consumption at baseline in men were associated with lower scores compared with moderate alcohol consumption (yet in men these findings were not robust to adjustment for covariates).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol abstinence seems to be prospectively associated with adverse psychological well-being (vitality and life satisfaction) in men and women, while heavy alcohol consumption seems to be prospectively associated with adverse satisfaction with life in men. Finally, a prospective association between weekly binge drinking and lower life satisfaction was observed in men.

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