22 September 2022 In Dementia

Alcohol consumption has been associated with the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in observational studies. The result is inconsistent and whether the association is causal remains unknown. To examine the causal effect of alcohol consumption on MCI in rural China, this study used a cross-sectional dataset that included 1966 observations collected in rural China, of which 235 observations' genotyping were collected. All participants accepted the MCI evaluation using Mini-Cog and were asked about the participants' alcohol consumption behavior. The causal effect of alcohol consumption on MCI was investigated by Mendelian randomization (MR) of genetic variation in the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2 rs671) gene. The risk of MCI in Chinese rural areas was 43%. Alcohol consumption was causally associated with a higher risk of MCI under MR design. Parameter estimates of drinking or not (b = 0.271, p = 0.007, 95% CI = 0.073 to 0.469), drinking frequency during the past 30 days (b = 0.016, p = 0.003, 95% CI = 0.005 to 0.027), and the weekly ethanol consumption (b = 0.132, p = 0.004, 95% CI = 0.042 to 0.223) were all positive and statistically significant at the 5% level. In conclusion, there was a high risk of MCI in rural China, and alcohol consumption was causally associated with a higher risk of MCI.

26 August 2022 In General Health

Alcohol consumption is associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and liver disease. The biological mechanisms are still largely unclear. Here, we aimed to use an agnostic approach to identify phenotypes mediating the effect of alcohol on various diseases.

METHODS: We performed an agnostic association analysis between alcohol consumption (red and white wine, beer/cider, fortified wine, and spirits) with over 7800 phenotypes from the UK biobank comprising 223,728 participants. We performed Mendelian randomisation analysis to infer causality. We additionally performed a Phenome-wide association analysis and a mediation analysis between alcohol consumption as exposure, phenotypes in a causal relationship with alcohol consumption as mediators, and various diseases as the outcome.

RESULTS: Of 45 phenotypes in association with alcohol consumption, 20 were in a causal relationship with alcohol consumption. Gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT; beta = 9.44; 95% CI = 5.94, 12.93; Pfdr = 9.04 x 10(-7)), mean sphered cell volume (beta = 0.189; 95% CI = 0.11, 0.27; Pfdr = 1.00 x 10(-4)), mean corpuscular volume (beta = 0.271; 95% CI = 0.19, 0.35; Pfdr = 7.09 x 10(-10)) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin (beta = 0.278; 95% CI = 0.19, 0.36; Pfdr = 1.60 x 10(-6)) demonstrated the strongest causal relationships. We also identified GGT and physical inactivity as mediators in the pathway between alcohol consumption, liver cirrhosis and alcohol dependence.

CONCLUSION: Our study provides evidence of causality between alcohol consumption and 20 phenotypes and a mediation effect for physical activity on health consequences of alcohol consumption.

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.

04 December 2014 In Dementia

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether alcohol consumption is causally associated with cognitive impairment in older men as predicted by mendelian randomization.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of a cohort study of 3,542 community-dwelling men aged 65 to 83 years followed for 6 years. Cognitive impairment was established by a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 23 or less. Participants provided detailed information about their use of alcohol during the preceding year and were classified as abstainers, occasional drinkers, and regular drinkers: mild (/=35 drinks/wk). We genotyped the rs1229984 G-->A variant of the alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B) gene, which is associated with lowerprevalence of alcohol abuse and dependence. Other measures included age, education, marital status, smoking and physical activity, body mass index, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.

RESULTS: At study entry, rs1229984 G-->A polymorphism was associated with lower prevalence of regular use of alcohol and decreased consumption among regular users. Six years later, 502 men (14.2%) showed evidence of cognitive impairment. Abstainers and irregular drinkers had higher odds of cognitive impairment than regular drinkers (odds ratio [OR] = 1.23, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.00-1.51, after adjustment for other measured factors). The rs1229984 G-->A polymorphism did not decrease the odds of cognitive impairment (AA/GG OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 0.29-6.27; GA/GG OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.71-1.55).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption, including heavy regular drinking and abuse, is not a direct cause of cognitive impairment in later life. Our results are consistent with the possibility, but do not prove, that regular moderate drinking decreases the risk of cognitive impairment in older men.

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