27 October 2022 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND: Although alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) is a global health threat, there are no specific effective treatments for it. Thus, efforts at preventing ALD are important and could be enhanced by using strategies based on validated risk and protective factors for the disease.

METHODS: The literature on factors influencing the risk for ALD was systematically searched from PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane library databases from inception to June 2022. Factors suitable for quantitative analysis were submitted to meta-analysis using fixed-effects and random-effects models to calculate each factor's risk ratio (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI).

RESULTS: Ten cohort studies (covering 1,005,339 subjects) that reported a clear causal relationship were included in the analysis, involving 11 potential risk factors (sex, race, education level, body mass index, alcohol consumption, types of alcoholic beverage, duration of drinking, drinking frequency, smoking, coffee consumption, and tea consumption). Three of these factors (sex, alcohol consumption, and smoking) were subjected to meta-analysis, and the results showed that male sex (RR = 2.84, 95% CI = 1.86-4.36), alcohol consumption >/=280 g/week (RR = 4.96, 95% CI = 2.71-9.07), and smoking (RR = 2.39, 95% CI = 1.97-2.89) were risk factors for ALD.

CONCLUSIONS: Many factors are likely to influence the incidence of ALD, and male sex, heavy alcohol consumption, and smoking increase the risk of ALD. The relationship between other factors and ALD risk needs further evaluation.

27 October 2022 In Cardiovascular System

Over the past several decades, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) has nearly doubled, and alcohol has played a major role in the incidence of much of it. Alcohol has also been attributed in deaths due to infectious diseases, intentional and unintentional injuries, digestive diseases, and several other non-communicable diseases, including cancer. The economic costs of alcohol-associated health outcomes are significant at the individual as well as the country level. Risks due to alcohol consumption increase for most cardiovascular diseases, including hypertensive heart disease, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation and flutter, and stroke. The widespread message for over 30 years has been to promote the myth that alcohol prolongs life, chiefly by reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Lack of universal advice and stringent policy measures have contributed towards increased uptake and easy availability of alcohol. The WHO has called for a 10% relative reduction in the harmful use of alcohol between 2013-2025. However, lack of investment in proven alcohol control strategies, as well as persistence of misinformation and industry interference, have hindered the efforts of public health professionals to make sufficient progress in reducing alcohol related harms and death.

28 April 2022 In Cardiovascular System
OBJECTIVES: This study sought to characterize associations of total and beverage-specific alcohol consumption with incident atrial fibrillation (AF). BACKGROUND: Although binge drinking and moderate to high consumption of alcohol are both established risk factors for AF, comparatively less is known about the effect of low alcohol consumption and whether associations differ by specific alcoholic beverages. METHODS: Using data from the UK Biobank, total and beverage-specific alcohol consumption was calculated as UK standard drinks (8 g alcohol) per week. Past drinkers and those with a history of AF were excluded. Incident AF events were assessed through hospitalization and death records, and dose-response associations were characterized using Cox regression models with correction for regression dilution bias. RESULTS: We studied 403,281 middle-aged individuals (52.4% female). Over a median follow-up time of 11.4 years (interquartile range: 10.7-12.3), a total of 21,312 incident AF events occurred. A J-shaped association of total alcohol consumption was observed, with lowest risk of AF with fewer than 7 drinks/week. Beverage-specific analyses demonstrated harmful associations of beer/cider consumption with any consumption. In contrast, consumption of red wine, white wine, and spirits up to 10, 8, and 3 drinks/week, respectively, was not associated with increased risk. CONCLUSIONS: In this predominantly White population, low levels of alcohol consumption (
22 March 2022 In Cardiovascular System

AIMS : There is a paucity of epidemiological evidence on alcohol and the risk of bradyarrhythmias. We thus characterized associations of total and beverage-specific alcohol consumption with incident bradyarrhythmias using data from the UK Biobank.

METHODS AND RESULTS : Alcohol consumption reported at baseline was calculated as UK standard drinks (8 g alcohol)/week. Bradyarrhythmia events were defined as sinus node dysfunction (SND), high-level atrioventricular block (AVB), and permanent pacemaker implantations. Outcomes were assessed through hospitalization and death records, and dose-response associations were characterized using Cox regression models with correction for regression dilution bias. We studied 407 948 middle-aged individuals (52.4% female). Over a median follow-up time of 11.5 years, a total of 8 344 incident bradyarrhythmia events occurred. Increasing total alcohol consumption was not associated with an increased risk of bradyarrhythmias. Beer and cider intake were associated with increased bradyarrhythmia risk up to 12 drinks/week; however, no significant associations were observed with red wine, white wine, or spirit intake. When bradyarrhythmia outcomes were analysed separately, a negative curvilinear was observed for total alcohol consumption and risk of SND, but no clear association with AVB was observed.

CONCLUSION : In this predominantly White British cohort, increasing total alcohol consumption was not associated with an increased risk of bradyarrhythmias. Associations appeared to vary according to the type of alcoholic beverage and between different types of bradyarrhythmias. Further epidemiological and experimental studies are required to clarify these findings.

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