21 September 2016 In Social and Cultural Aspects

AIMS: To conduct a systematic review of studies exploring the relationship between exposure to Internet-based alcohol-related content and alcohol use among young people.

METHODS: Searches of electronic databases and reference lists of relevant articles were conducted to retrieve studies of relevance up until December 2015. Full texts of the studies that met the inclusion criteria were read, appraised for quality using the Kmet forms and guidelines, and included in this review.

RESULTS: Fifteen relevant studies were identified. The included studies were a mix of cross-sectional, longitudinal, experimental and qualitative studies conducted in the USA, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The age range of the participants involved in these studies was 12-25 years. Included studies employed a variety of study designs and a range of different exposure variables and outcome measures. Studies demonstrated significant associations between exposure to Internet-based alcohol-related content and intentions to drink and positive attitudes towards alcohol drinking among young people.

CONCLUSION: Exposure to alcohol-related content on the Internet might predispose young people to patterns of alcohol use by promoting alcohol as a natural and vital part of life. However, the research exploring the influence of this novel form of advertising on young people's alcohol use is emergent, and comprised primarily of cross-sectional studies. To evaluate the direction of the association between exposure to online alcohol-related content and alcohol use, we call for further research based on longitudinal designs.

SHORT SUMMARY: From 15 relevant studies identified, this review reports significant associations between exposure to Internet-based alcohol-related content and intentions to drink and positive attitudes towards alcohol drinking among young people, with different influences found at different stages of alcohol use.

02 August 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

OBJECTIVE: To assess gender and age differences in hazardous drinking and to analyse and compare the factors associated with it in men versus women, and in 50 to 64-year-old versus >/=65-year-old people in Europe.

METHODS: Cross-sectional study with data from 65,955 people aged >/=50 years from 18 countries (SHARE project, 2011-2013). The outcome variable, hazardous drinking, was calculated using an adaptation of the AUDIT-C test. Several individual (sociodemographic, life-style and health factors) and contextual variables (country socioeconomic indicators and alcohol policies) were analysed. The prevalence of hazardous drinking was estimated by each exposure variable. To estimate associations, multilevel Poisson regression models with robust variance were fit, yielding prevalence ratios and their 95% confidence intervals (95%CI).

RESULTS: Overall, the prevalence of hazardous drinking was 21.5% (95%CI = 21.1-22.0), with substantial differences between countries. The proportion of hazardous drinking was higher in men than in women [26.3%(95%CI = 25.6-27.1); 17.5%(95%CI = 17.0-18.0), respectively], as well as in middle-aged people than in older people [23.6%(95%CI = 23.0-24.3); 19.2%(95%CI = 18.6-19.8), respectively]. At the individual level, associations were found for migrant background, marital status, educational level, tobacco smoking, depression and self-perceived health. At the contextual level, hazardous drinking was associated with gender inequalities in society (only in women) and alcohol advertising regulations (both genders).

CONCLUSIONS: One in five people aged >/=50 years in the countries studied is a hazardous drinker, with large differences by countries, gender and age group. Interventions and policies aimed at preventing or reducing alcohol use in this population should account for country, gender and age differences, as well as individual characteristics.

Copyright (c) 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

02 August 2016 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The ingestion of small to moderate alcohol consumption amounts has been associated to cardiovascular protection. This study aimed to evaluate the association between alcohol consumption and coronary artery disease severity.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cross-sectional Study with patients undergoing coronary angiography. Age, cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, systemic arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes) and alcohol drinking habit were investigated. Alcohol consumption was divided in three categories: nondrinker, moderate alcohol consumption (less than 15 g ethanol/day for women or 30 g ethanol/day for men) and heavy alcohol consumption. Coronary artery disease severity was assessed through the Friesinger Score (FS) in the coronary angiography, by interventional cardiologists blinded to alcohol consumption.

RESULTS: The final sample included 363 adults; of those, 228 were men (62.81%). Mean age was 60.5 +/- 10.9 y. Unadjusted analyses identified sex, age, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia and alcohol consumption as the main covariates associated with the Friesinger score. Lower Friesinger scores were also observed in moderate alcohol consumption when comparing to those who do not drink (RR 0.86; 95% CI 0.79-0.95).

CONCLUSION: Among patients with suspected coronary artery disease undergoing coronary angiography, moderate alcohol consumption is associated to a lower coronary artery disease severity than heavy drinking.

28 June 2016 In Cardiovascular System

OBJECTIVES: The preference for a specific alcoholic beverage may be related to an individual's overall lifestyle and health. The objective was to investigate associations between alcoholic beverage preference and several cardiometabolic and lifestyle factors, including adiposity, cholesterol, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), liver enzymes and dietary patterns.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: The Dutch Longitudinal Nutrition Questionnaires plus (NQplus) Study. PARTICIPANTS: 1653 men and women aged 20-77 years.

METHODS: Diet, including alcohol, was assessed by Food Frequency Questionnaire. Based on the average number of reported glasses of alcoholic beverage, a person was classified as having a preference for beer, wine, spirit/no specific preference, or as a non-consumer. Mixed linear models were used to calculate crude and adjusted means of cardiometabolic and lifestyle factors across alcoholic beverage preference categories.

PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Anthropometric measures, blood pressure, lipids, HbA1c, albumin, creatinine, uric acid, liver enzymes and dietary patterns.

RESULTS: In the study population, 43% had a wine preference, 13% a beer preference, 29% had a spirit or no specific preference, and 15% did not consume alcohol. Men who preferred wine had lowest measures of adiposity; the preference for alcoholic beverages was not associated with adiposity measures in women. Wine consumers had higher high density lipoprotein-cholesterol, lower HbA1c and were more likely to follow the 'Salad' pattern. Beer consumers had highest levels of triglycerides and liver enzymes, and had higher scores for the 'Meat' and 'Bread' pattern.

CONCLUSIONS: Few differences in dietary patterns across alcoholic beverage preference categories were observed. Those differences in cardiometabolic parameters that were observed according to alcoholic beverage preference, suggested that wine consumers have a better health status than beer consumers.

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