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.

15 June 2022 In Cardiovascular System

We examined whether the often-reported protective association of alcohol with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk could arise from confounding. Our sample comprised 908 men (56-67 years), free of prevalent CVD. Participants were categorized into 6 groups: never drinkers, former drinkers, and very light (1-4 drinks in past 14 days), light (5-14 drinks), moderate (15-28 drinks), and at-risk (>28 drinks) drinkers. Generalized linear mixed effect models examined the associations of alcohol use with three established CVD risk scores: The Framingham Risk Score (FRS); the atherosclerotic CVD (ASCVD) risk score; and the Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) Severity score, adjusting for group differences in demographics, body size, and health-related behaviors. In separate models we additionally adjusted for several groups of potentially explanatory factors including socioeconomic status, social support, physical and mental health status, childhood factors, and prior history of alcohol misuse. Results showed lower CVD risk among light and moderate alcohol drinkers, relative to very light drinkers, for all CVD risk scores, independent of demographics, body size, and health-related behaviors. Alcohol-CVD risk associations were robust to further adjustment for several groups of potential explanatory factors. Study limitations include the all-male sample with limited racial and ethnic diversity, and the inability to adjust for sugar consumption and for patterns of alcohol consumption. Although this observational study does not address causation, results show that middle-aged men who consume alcohol in moderation have lower CVD risk and better cardiometabolic health than men who consume little or no alcohol, independent of a variety of health, behavioral, psychosocial, and earlier life factors.

15 June 2022 In Cancer
We examined associations between sex-specific alcohol intake trajectories and alcohol-related cancer risk using data from 22 756 women and 15 701 men aged 40 to 69 years at baseline in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Alcohol intake for 10-year periods from age 20 until the decade encompassing recruitment, calculated using recalled beverage-specific frequency and quantity, was used to estimate group-based sex-specific intake trajectories. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for primary invasive alcohol-related cancer (upper aerodigestive tract, breast, liver and colorectum). Three distinct alcohol intake trajectories for women (lifetime abstention, stable light, increasing moderate) and six for men (lifetime abstention, stable light, stable moderate, increasing heavy, early decreasing heavy, late decreasing heavy) were identified. 2303 incident alcohol-related cancers were diagnosed during 485 525 person-years in women and 789 during 303 218 person-years in men. For men, compared with lifetime abstention, heavy intake (mean >/= 60 g/day) at age 20 to 39 followed by either an early (from age 40 to 49) (early decreasing heavy; HR = 1.75, 95% CI: 1.25-2.44) or late decrease (from age 60 to 69) (late decreasing heavy; HR = 1.94, 95% CI: 1.28-2.93), and moderate intake (mean
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