21 September 2016 In General Health

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe the cross-sectional and longitudinal association between alcohol intake and gait parameters in older persons.

METHODS: Community-dwelling persons aged 65-70 years (N = 807). Information on health, functional status, and alcohol use was self-reported at baseline and at 3-year follow-up, whereas gait speed and stride-to-stride variability were measured while walking only (single task) and under dual tasking (counting backwards).

RESULTS: Compared to light-to-moderate drinking, heavy drinking was associated with slower gait speed in single task (adj. coeff.: -.040, 95% CI: -.0.78 to -.002, p = .035). No significant association was observed between heavy drinking and gait speed variability. Nondrinkers walked significantly slower than light-to-moderate drinkers in dual task and had significantly higher gait speed variability in both single and dual task, but these associations disappeared after adjustment for comorbidity. At follow-up, 35.2% and 34.1% of the participants walked significantly slower in single and dual task, respectively. This proportion varied a little across drinking categories.

CONCLUSION: At baseline, heavy alcohol consumption was significantly associated with slower gait speed in single task. Selective survival of the fittest heavy drinkers probably explains why this association faded in longitudinal analyses. The trend of poorer gait performance in nondrinkers disappeared after adjustment for comorbidity, suggesting confounding by a worse health status.

21 September 2016 In Cancer

Alcohol intake has been related to an increased risk of breast cancer (BC) while dietary fiber intake has been inversely associated to BC risk. A beneficial effect of fibers on ethanol carcinogenesis through their impact on estrogen levels is still controversial. We investigated the role of dietary fiber as a modifying factor of the association of alcohol and breast cancer using data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). This study included 334,850 women aged 35-70 years at baseline enrolled in the ten countries of the EPIC study and followed up for 11.0 years on average. Information on fiber and alcohol intake at baseline and average lifetime alcohol intake were calculated from country-specific dietary and lifestyle questionnaires. Hazard ratios (HR) of developing invasive breast cancer according to different levels of alcohol and fiber intake were computed. During 3,670,439 person-years, 11,576 incident breast cancer cases were diagnosed. For subjects with low intake of fiber (<18.5 g/day), the risk of BC per 10g/day of alcohol intake was 1.06 (1.03-1.08) while among subjects with high intake of fiber (>24.2 g/day) the risk of BC was 1.02 (0.99-1.05) (test for interaction p=0.011). This modulating effect was stronger for fiber from vegetables. Our results suggest that fiber intake may modulate the positive association of alcohol intake and BC.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc

21 September 2016 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer aetiology may differ by estrogen receptor (ER) status. Associations of alcohol and folate intakes with risk of breast cancer defined by ER status were examined in pooled analyses of the primary data from 20 cohorts.

METHODS: During a maximum of 6-18 years of follow-up of 1 089 273 women, 21 624 ER+ and 5113 ER- breast cancers were identified. Study-specific multivariable relative risks (RRs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression models and then combined using a random-effects model.

RESULTS: Alcohol consumption was positively associated with risk of ER+ and ER- breast cancer. The pooled multivariable RRs (95% confidence intervals) comparing >/= 30 g/d with 0 g/day of alcohol consumption were 1.35 (1.23-1.48) for ER+ and 1.28 (1.10-1.49) for ER- breast cancer (Ptrend /= 0.26). Dietary (from foods only) and total folate intakes were not associated with risk of overall, ER+ and ER- breast cancer; pooled multivariable RRs ranged from 0.98 to 1.02 comparing extreme quintiles. Following-up US studies through only the period before mandatory folic acid fortification did not change the results. The alcohol and folate associations did not vary by tumour subtypes defined by progesterone receptor status.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption was positively associated with risk of both ER+ and ER- breast cancer, even among women with high folate intake. Folate intake was not associated with breast cancer risk.

28 June 2016 In General Health
OBJECTIVES: We conducted a prospective analysis of 145,886 participants in the multiethnic cohort to examine the relationship of alcohol drinking and smoking with pancreatitis. METHODS: Pancreatitis cases were categorized as gallstone-related acute pancreatitis (GSAP) (N = 1,065), non-GSAP (N = 1,222), and recurrent acute (RAP)/chronic pancreatitis (CP) (N = 523). We used the baseline questionnaire to identify alcohol intake and smoking history. Associations were estimated by hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using Cox models. RESULTS: Cigarette smoking was associated with non-GSAP and RAP/CP. Moderate alcohol intake was inversely associated with all types of pancreatitis in women (HRs, 0.66 to 0.81 for
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