23 February 2023 In General Health

PURPOSE: To examine whether higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are related to increased alcohol consumption and dependence among a large sample of adults attending a preventive medicine clinic. METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 38,653 apparently healthy patients who visited the Cooper Clinic (Dallas, TX) for preventive medical examinations (1988-2019) and enrolled in the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. The primary independent variable was cardiorespiratory fitness, based on a maximal treadmill test, and the dependent variables were alcohol consumption and dependence (self-reported).

The relations between fitness category (low, moderate, high) and alcohol consumption (low, moderate, heavy) and suggested alcohol dependence (Cut down, Annoyed, Guilty, Eye opener score ≥2) among women and men were estimated via multivariable regression while adjusting for covariates (e.g., age, birth year cohort, marital status, and body mass index).

RESULTS: Women within the moderate and high fitness categories had 1.58 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.32-1.91) and 2.14 (95% CI, 1.77-2.58) greater odds of moderate/heavy alcohol consumption, respectively, in comparison to their low fitness counterparts. Similarly, moderate and high fit men had 1.42 (95% CI, 1.30-1.55) and 1.63 (95% CI, 1.49-1.80) times greater odds of moderate-to-heavy alcohol consumption, respectively, in comparison to the low fitness group. In addition, among men who were heavy drinkers (but not women), higher fitness levels were related to lower rates of suggested alcohol dependence. Specifically, these men had 45.7%, 41.7%, and 34.9% proportions of clinically relevant alcohol problems across low, moderate, and high fitness categories (adjusted P for trend <0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Higher fitness levels are significantly related to greater alcohol consumption among a large cohort of adult patients. Interventions focusing on increasing fitness (via physical activity promotion) might consider concurrently aiming to reduce alcohol consumption.

23 February 2023 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Incidence of early-onset colorectal cancer (EOCRC; e.g., diagnosed before age 50) in the United States has increased substantially since the 1990s but the underlying reasons remain unclear. METHODS: We examined the ecologic associations between dietary factors and EOCRC incidence in adults aged 25-49 during 1977-2016 in the United States, using negative binomial regression models, accounting for age, period, and race.

The models also incorporated an age-mean centering (AMC) approach to address potential confounding by age. We stratified the analysis by sex and computed incidence rate ratio (IRR) for each study factor. Study factor data (for 18 variables) came from repeated national surveys; EOCRC incidence data came from the Surveillance Epidemiology, and End Results Program. RESULTS: Results suggest that confounding by age on the association with EOCRC likely existed for certain study factors (e.g., calcium intake), and that AMC can alleviate the confounding. EOCRC incidence was positively associated with smoking [IRR (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.17 (1.10-1.24) for men; 1.15 (1.09-1.21) for women] and alcohol consumption [IRR (95% CI), 1.08 (1.04-1.12) for men; 1.08 (1.04-1.11) for women].

No strong associations were found for most other study factors (e.g., fiber and calcium). CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption was positively associated with EOCRC and has increased among young adults since the 1980s, which may have contributed to the EOCRC incidence increases since the 1990s. The AMC approach may help alleviate age confounding in similar ecologic analyses. IMPACT: Increases in alcohol consumption may have contributed to the recent increases in colorectal cancer incidence among young adults. See related commentary by Ni et al., p. 164.

07 February 2023 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Most of the available epidemiological evidence on alcohol and chronic disease agrees on recommending alcohol abstention to young people, but some controversy exists about the most appropriate recommendation for alcohol abstention for people of older ages. A growing body of evidence suggests that the pattern of alcohol consumption is likely to be a strong effect modifier. The Mediterranean Alcohol Drinking Pattern (MADP) represents a score integrating several dimensions of drinking patterns (moderation, preference for red wine, drinking with meals, and avoiding binge drinking). Our aim was to clarify this issue and provide more precise recommendations on alcohol consumption.

METHODS: We prospectively followed-up 2226 participants (men older than 50 years and women older than 55 years at baseline) in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort. We classified participants into three categories of adherence to the MADP score (low, moderate, and high), and we added a fourth category for abstainers. Cox regression models estimated multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) of all-cause death and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using low MADP adherence as the reference category. RESULTS: The strongest reduction in risk of mortality was observed for those with high adherence to the MADP, with an HR of 0.54 (95% CI: 0.37-0.80). The moderate adherence group (HR = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.44-0.96) and the abstention group (HR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.36-0.98) also exhibited lower risks of mortality than the low MADP adherence group.

CONCLUSIONS: based on the available evidence, a public health message can be provided to people older than 50 years as follows: among those who drink alcohol, high adherence to the MADP score could substantially reduce their risk of all-cause mortality.

07 February 2023 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol consumption ranging from 1-2 drinks/day associates with a lower risk of coronary heart disease in some studies.

The underlying mechanisms are unclear. The Metabolic Imprints of Alcoholic Beverages (MetAl) trial aimed to explore the short-term effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cardiovascular biomarkers. A 2 x 3-week cross-over single-blinded intervention trial investigating the effect of 1-2 drinks/day (~12-24 g) compared with abstention on (1)H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-measured main lipoproteins and subfractions was performed in 26 healthy adults.

Volunteers were classified as occasional or habitual drinkers based on their habitual alcohol intakes (/=2 drinks/week).

Compared with abstention, 1-2 drinks/day increased HDL(2a)-C (p = 0.004), HDL(3)-C (p = 0.008), and HDL non-significantly (p = 0.19).

Total apoA1 and apoA1 in HDL and its subfractions increased (p < 0.05). Novel findings were a decreased apoB/apoA1 ratio (p = 0.02), and increased HDL(2a) phospholipid content (p = 0.04). In women alone, the results were similar but attenuated, and LDL-P decreased. Thus, changes in apoA1- and HDL-related biomarkers occur within weeks in moderate drinkers. Compared with abstention, 1-2 drinks/day increased total apoA1 more strongly than HDL-C and increased the cholesterol, apoA1, and phospholipid content of several HDL subfractions.

Whether this provides a cardiovascular benefit requires further study. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03384147.

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