26 August 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) levels in the blood can be a sensitive marker of liver injury but the extent to which they give insight into risk across multiple outcomes in a clinically useful way remains uncertain.

METHODS: Using data from 293,667 UK Biobank participants, the relationship of GGT concentrations to self-reported alcohol intake and adiposity markers were investigated. We next investigated whether GGT predicted liver-related, cardiovascular (CV) or all-cause mortality, and potentially improved CV risk prediction.

FINDINGS: Higher alcohol intake and greater waist circumference (WC) were associated with higher GGT; the association was stronger for alcohol with evidence of a synergistic effect of WC. Higher GGT concentrations were associated with multiple outcomes. Compared to a GGT of 14.5 U/L (lowest decile), values of 48 U/L for women and 60 U/L for men (common upper limits of 'normal') had hazard ratios (HRs) for liver-related mortality of 1.83 (95% CI 1.60-2.11) and 3.25 (95% CI 2.38-4.42) respectively, for CV mortality of 1.21 (95% CI 1.14-1.28) and 1.43 (95% CI 1.27-1.60) and for all-cause mortality of 1.15 (95% CI 1.12-1.18) and 1.31 (95% CI 1.24-1.38). Adding GGT to a risk algorithm for CV mortality reclassified an additional 1.24% (95% CI 0.14-2.34) of participants across a binary 5% 10-year risk threshold.

INTERPRETATION: Our study suggests that a modest elevation in GGT levels should trigger a discussion with the individual to review diet and lifestyle including alcohol intake and consideration of formal liver disease and CV risk assessment if not previously done.

FUNDING: British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence Grant (grant number RE/18/6/34217), NHS Research Scotland (grant number SCAF/15/02), the Medical Research Council (grant number MC_UU_00022/2); and the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (grant number SPHSU17).

23 February 2022 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Cardiometabolic disease, including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), can result in serious late effects in patients with cancer. Preventing long-term complications in this population is an increasingly important priority in public health and clinical practice.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the role of a healthy lifestyle in the transition from a healthy status to the development of cancer and subsequent CVD and T2D.

METHODS: The analysis was based on data from the UK Biobank and included 2 subsamples: a cancer-free cohort of 397,136 individuals in the general population and a cancer-prevalent cohort of 35,564 patients with cancer. All participants were 40 to 70 years of age and were free of CVD and T2D at recruitment. A healthy lifestyle that included no current smoking, regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and moderate alcohol consumption and sleep duration were included in a healthy lifestyle index (HLI).

RESULTS: In the cancer-free cohort, during a maximum follow-up period of 15 years, 6.38% and 4.18% of patients with cancer developed CVD and T2D, respectively. A healthy lifestyle significantly mitigated the risk for transition from cancer to subsequent CVD and T2D, with HRs per 1-point increment in HLI of 0.90 (95% CI: 0.86-0.94) and 0.84 (95% CI: 0.79-0.89), respectively. In the cancer-prevalent cohort, each 1-point increment in HLI was similarly associated with lower risk for CVD (HR: 0.90; 95% CI: 0.87-0.93) and T2D (HR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.83-0.91) in cancer survivors.

CONCLUSIONS: A healthy lifestyle is associated with a slower transition from cancer development to the subsequent development of CVD and T2D. Moreover, among patients with cancer, a healthy lifestyle is associated with lower risk for CVD and T2D. This study highlights the practical benefits of adherence to a healthy lifestyle.

26 January 2022 In General Health

Our objective was to investigate longitudinal associations between alcohol drinking and body mass index (BMI). Alcohol drinking (exposure), BMI (outcome), smoking habit, occupation, longstanding illness, and leisure time physical activity (potential confounders) were assessed at ages 30, 34, 42, and 46 in the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study. Multilevel models were used to cope with the problem of correlated observations. There were 15,708 observations in 5931 men and 14,077 observations in 5656 women. Drinking was associated with BMI in men.

According to the regression coefficients, BMI was expected to increase by 0.36 (95% confidence interval: 0.11, 0.60) kg/m(2) per year in men who drank once a week and by 0.40 (0.14, 0.15) kg/m(2) per year in men who drank most days. In ten years, BMI was expected to increase by 5.4kg/m(2) in men who drank and by 2.9kg/m(2) in men who drank and were physically active. Drinking was not associated with BMI in women. Rather, BMI was expected to increase by 0.25 (0.07, 0.43) kg/m(2) per year in women who were former smokers.

In ten years, BMI was expected to increase by 4.3kg/m(2) in women who were former smokers and by 0.8kg/m(2) in women who were former smokers and who were physically active. Associations between drinking and BMI were similar after further adjustment for problematic drinking and diet. These longitudinal data suggest that drinking is associated with BMI in men and that drinking is not associated with BMI in women independent of other lifestyle risk factors.

26 January 2022 In Cancer

PURPOSE: The association between alcohol intake and glioma remains unclear. We evaluated the association between alcohol intake and incidence of glioma in three large, prospective cohort studies with repeated alcohol assessments.

METHODS: We harnessed data from three studies with repeat alcohol assessment to compute hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for glioma by overall alcohol intake and intake from specific beverages using Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusted for age, cohort, body mass index, smoking status, and caloric intake. Analyses were conducted separately for glioma overall and for glioblastoma (GBM).

RESULTS: We confirmed 554 incident glioma cases (362 GBM) among 237,505 participants with 6,216,378 person-years of follow up. Cumulative average alcohol intake was associated with reduced risk of glioma (HR = 0.75, 95%CI:0.56-0.99 comparing > 8-15 to 15 g/d to </= 0.5 g/d). When stratified by sex, for the same comparisons, the HRs for men were 0.57 (95%CI:0.36-0.89) and 0.79 (0.53-1.16), and for women 0.90 (95%CI:0.62-1.30) and 0.62, 95%CI:0.39-0.97. Results were consistent when examining cumulative average, baseline, and recent intake, and with a 4 year lag.

CONCLUSION: These results provide evidence against a positive association between alcohol intake and glioma risk. Alcohol intake was associated with reduced risk of glioma in both men and women.

Page 1 of 43

Contact us

We love your feedback. Get in touch with us.

  • Tel: +32 (0)2 230 99 70
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer and Privacy Policy.