18 May 2018 In Cancer

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The incidence of kidney cancer rises globally with the highest rates in developed countries. This demonstrates the impact of advanced diagnostic imaging but also rising prevalence of modifiable risk factors such as smoking, obesity and hypertension. A literature search was performed with focus on recent studies on risk factors related to lifestyle, medication and nutrition. Further we searched for the effect of cancer prevention strategies.

RECENT FINDINGS: Overall, we included 76 studies of the past 5 years. Based on current evidence smoking tobacco, obesity and hypertension remain established risk factors for kidney cancer. Certain analgesics and consumption of processed meat have been linked to increase development of renal cell carcinoma, although data are limited. Fruits, fiber-rich vegetables, coffee and physical activity may have a protective effect against kidney cancer but causal conclusions are not yet supported. Significantly, there is an increasing evidence of inverse association between moderate alcohol consumption.

SUMMARY: Overall evidence confirms an effective way to prevent the risk of kidney cancer is maintaining a healthy weight and avoid smoking. State policies should further ensure strategies to raise public awareness and support to adopt healthy lifestyles.

25 October 2016 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with a lower risk of disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It is unclear if this reflects current or lifetime drinking, or can be attributed to confounders such as diet and exercise. We evaluated the impact of lifetime alcohol consumption on fibrosis severity in NAFLD.

METHODS: We prospectively enrolled 120 subjects with biopsy-proven NAFLD and through detailed questionnaires examined lifetime alcohol consumption, diet and physical activity. Main outcome measures were odds ratios (OR) for fibrosis stage, calculated through ordinal regression after adjustment for body mass index, diabetes mellitus type 2, smoking and age at biopsy. A biomarker for recent alcohol consumption, phosphatidyl ethanol (PEth) was sampled.

RESULTS: An increase in median weekly alcohol consumption to a maximum of 13 drinks per week was associated with lower fibrosis stage (adjusted OR for each incremental unit, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.76-0.97; p = .017). The lowest risk for fibrosis was found with the lowes`t odds seen in the top quartile of alcohol consumption (aOR 0.23; 95% CI 0.08-0.66; p = .006). Adding soft drink and coffee consumptions, and physical activity to the model did not change the estimates. Subjects with PEth >/=0.3 mumol/L had higher ORs for a higher fibrosis stage (aOR 2.77; 95% CI 1.01-7.59; p = .047).

CONCLUSION: Lifetime alcohol consumption with up to 13 units per week is associated with lower fibrosis stage in NAFLD. Elevated PEth is associated with higher stages of fibrosis.

16 October 2015 In General Health

BACKGROUND: The association between Parkinson's disease and lifestyle exposures such as smoking, coffee and alcohol consumption have been the focus of research for several decades, with varying and often conflicting results.

OBJECTIVE: This paper reviews the key features of observational studies investigating the relationship between alcohol drinking and PD risk, to determine potential sources of variability between the results.

METHODS: Relevant literature from 2000-2014 was systematically retrieved using three databases. Primary research articles were included if they reported a measure of association between quantity and frequency of alcohol intake and PD risk, and adjusted at least for the potential confounding factors of smoking and age.

RESULTS: Sixteen articles were identified. The seven case-control studies were more likely to report a weak protective association by level of alcohol consumption compared to the studies with prospective designs. Two studies reported the relationship between heavy (harmful to health) drinking and PD. There was weak evidence that associations varied by type of alcoholic beverage. Smoking may modify the association between alcohol intake and PD risk, however, the evidence does not support the theory that a confounder (such as an addiction-avoiding personality trait) produced the inverse associations between smoking, coffee and alcohol intake and PD risk. Methodological weaknesses of the studies, including selection and recall bias, residual confounding and lack of statistical power may in part account for their differences.

CONCLUSION: The weak association between alcohol drinking and PD risk was found in studies at greater risk of selection and recall bias.

16 June 2015 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: There is limited research examining beverage habits, one of the most habitual dietary behaviors, with mortality risk.

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the association between coffee, black and green tea, sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks and juice), and alcohol and all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

METHODS: A prospective data analysis was conducted with the use of the Singapore Chinese Health Study, including 52,584 Chinese men and women (aged 45-74 y) free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer at baseline (1993-1998) and followed through 2011 with 10,029 deaths. Beverages were examined with all-cause and cause-specific (cancer, CVD, and respiratory disease) mortality risk with the use of Cox proportional hazards regression.

RESULTS: The associations between coffee, black tea, and alcohol intake and all-cause mortality were modified by smoking status. Among never-smokers there was an inverse dose-response association between higher amounts of coffee and black tea intake and all-cause, respiratory-related, and CVD mortality (black tea only). The fully adjusted HRs for all-cause mortality for coffee for <1/d, 1/d, and >/=2/d relative to no coffee intake were 0.89, 0.86, and 0.83, respectively (P-trend = 0.0003). For the same black tea categories the HRs were 0.95, 0.90, and 0.72, respectively (P-trend = 0.0005). Among ever-smokers there was no association between coffee or black tea and the outcomes. Relative to no alcohol, light to moderate intake was inversely associated with all-cause mortality (HR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.79, 0.96) in never-smokers with a similar magnitude of association in ever-smokers. There was no association between heavy alcohol intake and all-cause mortality in never-smokers and a strong positive association in ever-smokers (HR: 1.56; 95% CI: 1.40, 1.74). Green tea and sugar-sweetened beverages were not associated with all-cause or cause-specific mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher coffee and black tea intake was inversely associated with mortality in never-smokers, light to moderate alcohol intake was inversely associated with mortality regardless of smoking status, heavy alcohol intake was positively associated with mortality in ever-smokers, and there was no association between sugar-sweetened beverages and green tea and mortality.

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