15 June 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Biological age (BA) is the hypothetical underlying age of an organism and has been proposed as a more powerful predictor of health than chronological age (CA). The difference between BA and CA (Deltaage) reflects the rate of biological aging, with lower values indicating slowed-down aging. We sought to compare the relationship of four a priori-defined dietary patterns, including a traditional Mediterranean diet (MD) and three non-Mediterranean diets, with biological aging (Deltaage) among Italian adults. We also examined distinctive nutritional traits of these diets as potential mediators of such associations.

METHODS: Cross-sectional analysis on a sub-cohort of 4510 subjects (aged >/=35 y; 52.0% women) from the Moli-sani Study (enrolment, 2005-2010). Food intake was recorded by a 188-item semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire. A Mediterranean diet score (MDS) was used as exposure and compared with non-Mediterranean dietary patterns, i.e. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), Palaeolithic and the Nordic diets. A Deep Neural Network based on 36 blood biomarkers was used to compute BA and the resulting Deltaage (BA-CA), which was tested as outcome in multivariable linear regressions adjusted for clinical factors, lifestyles and sociodemographic factors.

RESULTS: In a multivariable-adjusted model, 1 standard deviation increase in the MDS was inversely associated with Deltaage (beta = -0.23; 95%CI -0.40, -0.07), and similar findings were observed with the DASH diet (beta = -0.17; 95%CI -0.33, -0.01). High dietary polyphenol content explained 29.8% (p = 0.04) and 65.8% (p = 0.02) of these associations, respectively, while other nutritional factors analysed (e.g. dietary fibre) were unlikely to be on the pathway. No significant associations were found with either the Palaeolithic or the Nordic diets.

CONCLUSIONS: Increasing adherence to either the traditional MD or the DASH diet was associated with delayed biological aging, possibly through their high polyphenol content.

15 June 2022 In Drinking Patterns

AIMS: To examine the association of alcohol consumption patterns with growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) in older drinkers, separately among individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD)/diabetes and those without them, as GDF-15 is a strong biomarker of chronic disease burden.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Population-based study in Madrid (Spain). PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2051 life-time drinkers aged 65+ years included in the Seniors-ENRICA-2 study in 2015-17. Participants' mean age was 71.4 years and 55.4% were men.

MEASUREMENTS: According to their average life-time alcohol intake, participants were classified as occasional ( 1.43-20 g/day; women: > 1.43-10 g/day), moderate-risk (men: > 20-40 g/day; women: > 10-20 g/day) and high-risk drinkers (men: > 40 g/day; women: > 20 g/day; or binge drinkers). We also ascertained wine preference (> 80% of alcohol derived from wine), drinking with meals and adherence to a Mediterranean drinking pattern (MDP) defined as low-risk drinking, wine preference and one of the following: drinking only with meals; higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet; or any of these.

FINDINGS: In participants without CVD/diabetes, GDF-15 increased by 0.27% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.06%, 0.48%] per 1 g/day increment in alcohol among high-risk drinkers, but there was no clear evidence of association in those with lower intakes or in the overall group, or across categories of alcohol consumption status. Conversely, among those with CVD/diabetes, GDF-15 rose by 0.19% (95% CI = 0.05%, 0.33%) per 1 g/day increment in the overall group and GDF-15 was 26.89% (95% CI = 12.93%, 42.58%) higher in high-risk versus low-risk drinkers. Drinking with meals did not appear to be related to GDF-15, but among those without CVD/diabetes, wine preference and adherence to the MDP were associated with lower GDF-15, especially when combined with high adherence to the Mediterranean diet.

CONCLUSIONS: Among older life-time drinkers in Madrid, Spain, high-risk drinking was positively associated with growth differentiation factor 15 (a biomarker of chronic disease burden). There was inconclusive evidence of a beneficial association for low-risk consumption.

22 March 2022 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: The relationship between moderate alcohol drinking or other alcohol drinking patterns such as frequency, beverage type, and situation of drinking and cognitive function is not sufficiently clear in older people. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between alcohol drinking patterns and cognitive function in community-dwelling Japanese people aged 75 and over.

METHODS: This study was a cross-sectional design based on a prospective cohort study called the SONIC study. Subjects were older people aged 75-77 or 85-87 who voluntarily participated in 2016-2017. Drinking information was collected for daily drinking frequency, daily drinking intake, beverage type, and non-daily drinking opportunity. Cognitive function was measured using the Japanese version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA-J). Other potential confounding factors evaluated were age, sex, medical factors, and psychosocial factors. An analysis of covariance was performed to evaluate the MoCA-J score relative to drinking frequency or alcohol intake. Multiple regression analysis was performed to investigate the association between beverage type or non-daily drinking opportunity and the MoCA-J score.

RESULTS: The final number of participants analyzed was 1,226. The MoCA-J score for participants who reported drinking alcohol 1-6 days/week was significantly higher than that for those who reported drinking none or every day. No significant difference in the MoCA-J score was observed relative to daily alcohol intake. In terms of beverage type, wine was associated positively with the MoCA-J score. Non-daily drinking opportunity was also associated positively with the MoCA-J score.

CONCLUSIONS: Moderate-frequency drinking, wine consumption, and non-daily drinking opportunities were associated with higher cognitive function in community-dwelling Japanese aged 75 and over. Further longitudinal studies are needed to clarify the causal relationships.

26 January 2022 In Diabetes

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) is a risk predictor for myocardial infarction and stroke. Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus are at higher risk for such conditions. The association of alcohol consumption with IMT is still controversial.

METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: We undertook a cross-sectional study of patients hospitalized in the Department of Endocrinology at Zhoushan Hospital from January 1st, 2013 to December 31st, 2015. Patients with a past medical history of cerebrovascular events, acute myocardial ischemia or unable to provide a detailed alcohol consumption history were excluded. Carotid IMT, together with blood biochemical examinations were collected. Data were analyzed using least significant difference t test, Tamhane's T2 test, Levene test, chi2-test and binary logistic regression model.

RESULTS: 281 patients were enrolled in the study. The number of patients with elevated carotid IMT in moderate alcohol consumers was apparently less than alcohol non/heavy-consumers. In addition, the number of participants with elevated carotid IMT in liqueur consumers was higher than alcohol non-consumers and rice wine/beer consumers. Systolic blood pressure, C-reactive protein, glycosylated hemoglobin, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase, uric acid, cholesterol and creatinine levels were higher in elevated IMT patients, while high density lipoprotein cholesterol level was levels were significantly lower (p value<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Moderate alcohol consumption has a protective effect on atherosclerosis in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, requiring consideration to dietary intake and physical activity, among other influences. Inflammation theory and lipid metabolism could be involved in such prophylaxis effects.

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