25 January 2023 In General Health

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Obesity is a chronic disease, a major public health problem due to its association with non-communicable diseases and all-cause mortality. Indeed, people with obesity are at increased risk for a variety of obesity-related disorders including hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and several cancers. Many popular diets with very different macronutrient composition, including the Mediterranean diet (MD), have been used, proposed, and studied for prevention and management of obesity. In particular, MD has been the subject of countless studies over the years and now boasts a large body of scientific literature. In this review, we aimed to update current knowledge by summarizing the most recent evidence on the effect of MD on obesity and obesity-related disorders.

RECENT FINDINGS: The negative effects of obesity are partly reversed by substantial weight loss that can be achieved with MD, especially when low-calorie and in combination with adequate physical activity. In addition, the composition of MD has been correlated with an excellent effect on reducing dyslipidemia. It also positively modulates the gut microbiota and immune system, significantly decreasing inflammatory mediators, a common ground for many obesity-related disorders. People with obesity are at increased risk for a variety of medical disorders including hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, there is an inevitable need for measures to manage obesity and its related disorders. At this point, MD has been proposed as a valuable nutritional intervention. It is characterized by a high consumption of vegetables, fruit, nuts, cereals, whole grains, and extra virgin olive oil, as well as a moderate consumption of fish and poultry, and a limited intake of sweets, red meat, and dairy products. MD proves to be the healthiest dietary pattern available to tackle obesity and prevent several non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

23 November 2022 In Drinking Patterns

Excessive consumption of alcohol is not only a social problem, but it also significantly increases the morbidity and mortality rates of many societies. A correlation has been demonstrated between alcohol consumption and increased mortality from cancer, accidents and injuries, liver cirrhosis and other causes. Alcohol abuse increases the incidence of hemorrhagic stroke and the risk of ischemic stroke, induces serious arrhythmias, adversely affects blood pressure and damages the heart muscle. The dose and way of drinking alcohol play a crucial role in assessing whether this drink allows people to maintain health or whether it is a great health and social threat. The beneficial effects of low and moderate doses of alcohol on the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases have been shown in many population studies and meta-analyses in which the effect of U-shaped or J-shaped curves relating alcohol intake to cardiovascular mortality was observed, especially in ischemic heart disease. However, due to the fact that alcohol consumption is associated with many health hazards, it is not recommended to consume it as a preventive action of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, recent studies suggest that association of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption with the reduction in cardiovascular risk is a result of lifestyle changes and that any reduction in alcohol consumption is in fact beneficial in terms of general health.

28 April 2022 In Cardiovascular System

This Data in Brief article contains further sensitivity analysis data related to the article "Alcohol consumption and mortality: the Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health (LURIC) study" [1]. Alcohol consumption data of participants in LURIC was collected using a questionnaire. This data was used to calculate the amount of alcohol consumption in g ethanol per day by using standard volumes and standard vol-% in different beverages in Germany.

The data shown here provide results from the LURIC study stratified by gender. Furthermore, the LURIC study results were reproduced using other classifications, which were stratified in different literature data. In addition, our analysis provides data of alcohol consumption for smokers and non-smokers in the LURIC study cohort separately.

22 October 2021 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol consumption has been shown to have complex, and sometimes paradoxical, associations with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Several hundred epidemiological studies on this topic have been published in recent decades. In this narrative review, the epidemiological evidence will be examined for the associations between alcohol consumption, including average alcohol consumption, drinking patterns, and alcohol use disorders, and CVDs, including ischaemic heart disease, stroke, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, and heart failure. Methodological shortcomings, such as exposure classification and measurement, reference groups, and confounding variables (measured or unmeasured) are discussed. Based on systematic reviews and meta-analyses, the evidence seems to indicate non-linear relationships with many CVDs. Large-scale longitudinal epidemiological studies with multiple detailed exposure and outcome measurements, and the extensive assessment of genetic and confounding variables, are necessary to elucidate these associations further. Conflicting associations depending on the exposure measurement and CVD outcome are hard to reconcile, and make clinical and public health recommendations difficult. Furthermore, the impact of alcohol on other health outcomes needs to be taken into account. For people who drink alcohol, the less alcohol consumed the better.

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