23 September 2021 In Drinking Patterns

Alcohol use has been causally linked to more than 200 disease and injury conditions, as defined by three-digit ICD-10 codes. The understanding of how alcohol use is related to these conditions is essential to public health and policy research. Accordingly, this study presents a narrative review of different dose-response relationships for alcohol use. Relative-risk (RR) functions were obtained from various comparative risk assessments. Two main dimensions of alcohol consumption are used to assess disease and injury risk: (1) volume of consumption, and (2) patterns of drinking, operationalized via frequency of heavy drinking occasions. Lifetime abstention was used as the reference group. Most dose-response relationships between alcohol and outcomes are monotonic, but for diabetes type 2 and ischemic diseases, there are indications of a curvilinear relationship, where light to moderate drinking is associated with lower risk compared with not drinking (i.e., RR < 1). In general, women experience a greater increase in RR per gram of alcohol consumed than men. The RR per gram of alcohol consumed was lower for people of older ages. RRs indicated that alcohol use may interact synergistically with other risk factors, in particular with socioeconomic status and other behavioural risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, or physical inactivity. The literature on the impact of genetic constitution on dose-response curves is underdeveloped, but certain genetic variants are linked to an increased RR per gram of alcohol consumed for some diseases. When developing alcohol policy measures, including low-risk drinking guidelines, dose-response relationships must be taken into consideration.

21 July 2021 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Acute and chronic alcohol abuse has adverse impacts on both the innate and adaptive immune response, which may result in reduced resistance to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and promote the progression of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, there are no large population-based data evaluating potential causal associations between alcohol consumption and COVID-19.

METHODS: We conducted a Mendelian randomization study using data from UK Biobank to explore the association between alcohol consumption and risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and serious clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19. A total of 12,937 participants aged 50-83 who tested for SARS-CoV-2 between 16 March to 27 July 2020 (12.1% tested positive) were included in the analysis. The exposure factor was alcohol consumption. Main outcomes were SARS-CoV-2 positivity and death in COVID-19 patients. We generated allele scores using three genetic variants (rs1229984 (Alcohol Dehydrogenase 1B, ADH1B), rs1260326 (Glucokinase Regulator, GCKR), and rs13107325 (Solute Carrier Family 39 Member 8, SLC39A8)) and applied the allele scores as the instrumental variables to assess the effect of alcohol consumption on outcomes. Analyses were conducted separately for white participants with and without obesity.

RESULTS: Of the 12,937 participants, 4496 were never or infrequent drinkers and 8441 were frequent drinkers. Both logistic regression and Mendelian randomization analyses found no evidence that alcohol consumption was associated with risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in participants either with or without obesity (All q > 0.10). However, frequent drinking, especially heavy drinking (HR = 2.07, 95%CI 1.24-3.47; q = 0.054), was associated with higher risk of death in patients with obesity and COVID-19, but not in patients without obesity. Notably, the risk of death in frequent drinkers with obesity increased slightly with the average amount of alcohol consumed weekly (All q < 0.10).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that alcohol consumption has adverse effects on the progression of COVID-19 in white participants with obesity, but was not associated with susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

21 July 2021 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Previously, we reported on associations between dietary patterns and incident acute coronary heart disease (CHD) in the REGARDS (Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke) study. Here, we investigated the associations of dietary patterns and a dietary index with recurrent CHD events and all-cause mortality in REGARDS participants with existing CHD.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We included data from 3562 participants with existing CHD in REGARDS. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to examine the hazard of first recurrence of CHD events-definite or probable MI or acute CHD death-and all-cause mortality associated with quartiles of empirically derived dietary patterns (convenience, plant-based, sweets, Southern, and alcohol and salads) and the Mediterranean diet score. Over a median 7.1 years (interquartile range, 4.4, 8.9 years) follow-up, there were 581 recurrent CHD events and 1098 deaths. In multivariable-adjusted models, the Mediterranean diet score was inversely associated with the hazard of recurrent CHD events (hazard ratio for highest score versus lowest score, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.62-0.98; PTrend=0.036). The Southern dietary pattern was adversely associated with the hazard of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio for Q4 versus Q1, 1.57; 95% confidence interval, 1.28-1.91; PTrend<0.001). The Mediterranean diet score was inversely associated with the hazard of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio for highest score versus lowest score, 0.80; 95% confidence interval, 0.67-0.95; PTrend=0.014).

CONCLUSIONS: The Southern dietary pattern was associated with a greater hazard of all-cause mortality in REGARDS participants. Greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with both a lower hazard of recurrent CHD events and all-cause mortality.

26 May 2021 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Female breast cancer (FBC) is a malignancy involving multiple risk factors and has imposed heavy disease burden on women. We aim to analyze the secular trends of mortality rate of FBC according to its major risk factors.

METHODS: Death data of FBC at the global, regional, and national levels were retrieved from the online database of Global Burden of Disease study 2017. Deaths of FBC attributable to alcohol use, high body-mass index (BMI), high fasting plasma glucose (FPG), low physical activity, and tobacco were collected. Estimated average percentage change (EAPC) was used to quantify the temporal trends of age-standardized mortality rate (ASMR) of FBC in 1990-2017.

RESULTS: Worldwide, the number of deaths from FBC increased from 344.9 thousand in 1990 to 600.7 thousand in 2017. The ASMR of FBC decreased by 0.59% (95% CI, 0.52, 0.66%) per year during the study period. This decrease was largely driven by the reduction in alcohol use- and tobacco-related FBC, of which the ASMR was decreased by 1.73 and 1.77% per year, respectively. In contrast, the ASMR of FBC attributable to high BMI and high FPG was increased by 1.26% (95% CI, 1.22, 1.30%) and 0.26% (95% CI, 0.23, 0.30%) per year between 1990 and 2017, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The mortality rate of FBC experienced a reduction over the last three decades, which was partly owing to the effective control for alcohol and tobacco use. However, more potent and tailored prevention strategies for obesity and diabetes are urgently warranted.

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