26 January 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Both alcohol use and weight status have been linked to increased mortality risk, but evidence of their joint effect is limited. The goal of this study was to examine the combined effects of alcohol and weight status (BMI classes: underweight, normal, overweight, obesity) on mortality using nationally representative data.

METHODS: Using data from public-use National Health Interview Survey-Linked Mortality Files (NHIS-LMF), 2001-2011, linked to prospective mortality follow-up through December 2015, we used age-period-cohort Cox proportional hazards models to examine all-cause and cause-specific mortality associated with the joint effects of alcohol use and BMI on 209,317 individuals aged 35-85.

RESULTS: Individuals with an underweight BMI status had higher all-cause and cause-specific mortality risks than those with a normal BMI status and light/moderate alcohol intake. All-cause mortality risks were 148% (hazard ratio [HR] 2.48, 95% CI 1.60-3.83) higher in underweight heavy drinkers than light/moderate drinkers with normal BMI status. Obese heavy drinkers had a 16% higher chance of dying from all-cause mortality (HR 1.16, 95% CI 1.00-1.35). Individuals in the unknown alcohol and BMI category have a higher chance of death from all-cause (HR 1.35, 95% CI 1.14-1.59) or cause-specific (CVD HR 1.75, 95% CI 1.14-2.69 and Cancer HR 1.33, 95% CI 1.01-1.76).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol drinking levels result in heightened all-cause and cause-specific mortality risks; the risks are compounded among underweight, obese, and unknown BMI individuals across all or cause-specific mortality.

17 November 2021 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: In many countries, lockdown measures were implemented to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation may have an impact on mental health, tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption. The aim of this research report is therefore to describe changes in tobacco and alcohol consumption in the general French population during the first 2 weeks of lockdown and identify any associated factors.

METHODS: Self-reported changes in smoking and alcohol consumption following the lockdown implemented in France on 17 March 2020 were collected from 2003 respondents aged 18 years and older in an online cross-sectional survey carried out from 30 March to 1 April 2020. Anxiety and depression levels were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

RESULTS: Among current smokers, 26.7% reported an increase in their tobacco consumption since lockdown and 18.6% reported a decrease, while it remained stable for 54.7%. The increase in tobacco consumption was associated with an age of 18-34 years, a high level of education, and anxiety. Among alcohol drinkers, 10.7% reported an increase in their alcohol consumption since lockdown and 24.4% reported a decrease, while it remained stable for 64.8%. The increase in alcohol consumption was associated with an age of 18-49 years, living in cities of more than 100 000 inhabitants, a high socio-professional category, and a depressive mood.

CONCLUSIONS: The national lockdown implemented in France during the COVID-19 pandemic influenced tobacco and alcohol consumption in different ways according to sociodemographic group and mental health.

25 August 2020 In General Health

OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between alcohol drinking patterns and health-related quality of life (HRQL).

METHODS: Population-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 2008-2010 among 12,715 adult individuals in Spain. HRQL was assessed with the SF-12 questionnaire and alcohol intake with a diet history. The threshold between average moderate drinking and average heavy drinking was >/= 40 g/day of alcohol in men and >/= 24 g/day in women. Binge drinking was defined as the intake of >/= 80 g in men and >/= 60 g in women at any drinking session during the preceding 30 days. Analyses were performed with linear regression and adjusted for the main confounders.

RESULTS: Compared to non-drinkers, all types of average drinkers reported better scores on the SF-12 physical component: beta=1.42 (95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.81) in moderate drinkers and beta=1.86 (1.07 to 2.64) in heavy drinkers. In contrast, average alcohol consumption was not associated with the mental component of the SF-12. The number of binge drinking episodes and most types of beverage preference showed no association with physical or mental HRQL.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol drinkers, including those with heavy drinking, reported better physical HRQL than non-drinkers.

25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: The consumption of addictive substances is common in adolescence and raises concerns about future addiction. We investigated addictive substance consumption among young people to inform the design of drug intervention programmes.

METHODS: Participants were a population-based sample of 14- to 24-year-olds from Paredes, northern Portugal. A self-report questionnaire measured social and health variables, including tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug consumption. Results Data were analysed for 731 valid responses. Participants who had drunk alcohol did so first at 14.7 years (mean); 15.3% (95% confidence intervals [CI]: 12.9-18.1) drank alcohol regularly (more than 1/week, adjusted for age and sex) (95% CI: 12.9-18.1). Participants who had smoked tobacco did so first at 14.8 years (mean); 16.6% (95% CI: 14.0-19.5) were regular smokers. Illicit drug consumption was reported by 16.7% of participants (95% CI: 14.2-19.6) and 10.4% consumed drugs regularly.

CONCLUSION: We found a high prevalence of addictive substance consumption, particularly alcohol. As cultural attitudes likely influence alcohol consumption, a multigenerational approach is needed to address adolescent consumption. Participants' main sources of drug information were family members. Strategies are needed to promote drug literacy in parents and other relatives to change adolescents' culturally acquired habits of addictive substance consumption.

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