23 November 2022 In Drinking Patterns

Excessive consumption of alcohol is not only a social problem, but it also significantly increases the morbidity and mortality rates of many societies. A correlation has been demonstrated between alcohol consumption and increased mortality from cancer, accidents and injuries, liver cirrhosis and other causes. Alcohol abuse increases the incidence of hemorrhagic stroke and the risk of ischemic stroke, induces serious arrhythmias, adversely affects blood pressure and damages the heart muscle. The dose and way of drinking alcohol play a crucial role in assessing whether this drink allows people to maintain health or whether it is a great health and social threat. The beneficial effects of low and moderate doses of alcohol on the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases have been shown in many population studies and meta-analyses in which the effect of U-shaped or J-shaped curves relating alcohol intake to cardiovascular mortality was observed, especially in ischemic heart disease. However, due to the fact that alcohol consumption is associated with many health hazards, it is not recommended to consume it as a preventive action of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, recent studies suggest that association of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption with the reduction in cardiovascular risk is a result of lifestyle changes and that any reduction in alcohol consumption is in fact beneficial in terms of general health.

23 November 2022 In Drinking Patterns

Although excessive alcohol consumption is a highly prevalent public health problem the data on the associations between alcohol consumption and health outcomes in individuals preferring different types of alcoholic beverages has remained unclear. We examined the relationships between the amounts and patterns of drinking with the data on laboratory indices of liver function, lipid status and inflammation in a national population-based health survey (FINRISK). Data on health status, alcohol drinking, types of alcoholic beverages preferred, body weight, smoking, coffee consumption and physical activity were recorded from 22,432 subjects (10,626 men, 11,806 women), age range 25-74 years. The participants were divided to subgroups based on the amounts of regular alcohol intake (abstainers, moderate and heavy drinkers), patterns of drinking (binge or regular) and the type of alcoholic beverage preferred (wine, beer, cider or long drink, hard liquor or mixed). Regular drinking was found to be more typical in wine drinkers whereas the subjects preferring beer or hard liquor were more often binge-type drinkers and cigarette smokers. Alcohol use in all forms was associated with increased frequencies of abnormalities in the markers of liver function, lipid status and inflammation even at rather low levels of consumption. The highest rates of abnormalities occurred, however, in the subgroups of binge-type drinkers preferring beer or hard liquor. These results demonstrate that adverse consequences of alcohol occur even at moderate average drinking levels especially in individuals who engage in binge drinking and in those preferring beer or hard liquor. Further emphasis should be placed on such patterns of drinking in policies aimed at preventing alcohol-induced adverse health outcomes.

27 October 2022 In Drinking Patterns
Preventing or delaying the onset of alcohol use among children and youth is an important public health goal. One possible factor in alcohol use onset among early adolescents is caffeine. The aim of this study was to assess the possible contribution of caffeine to the onset of alcohol use during early adolescence. We used data from the Young Mountaineer Health Study Cohort. Survey data were collected from 1349 (response rate: 80.7%) 6th grade students (mean age at baseline 11.5 years) in 20 middle schools in West Virginia during the fall of 2020, and again approximately 6 months later in spring of 2021. We limited our analyses to students reporting never having used any form of alcohol at baseline. Logistic regression was employed in multivariable analyses and both Odds Ratios and Relative Risks reported. At follow-up, almost 14% of participants reported having consumed alcohol at least once and 57% used caffeine of 100 mg + daily. In multivariable analyses we controlled for social and behavioral variables known to impact tobacco use. Caffeine use was operationalized as a three-level factor: no use,
26 August 2022 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of several chronic diseases. In this multicohort study, we estimated the number of life-years without major chronic diseases according to different characteristics of alcohol use.

METHODS: In primary analysis, we pooled individual-level data from up to 129,942 adults across 12 cohort studies with baseline data collection on alcohol consumption, drinking patterns, and history between 1986 and 2005 (the IPD-Work Consortium). Self-reported alcohol consumption was categorised according to UK guidelines - non-drinking (never or former drinkers); moderate consumption (1-14 units); heavy consumption (>14 units per week). We further subdivided moderate and heavy drinkers by binge drinking pattern (alcohol-induced loss of consciousness). In addition, we assessed problem drinking using linked data on hospitalisations due to alcohol abuse or poisoning. Follow-up for chronic diseases for all participants included incident type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, and respiratory disease (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) as ascertained via linkage to national morbidity and mortality registries, repeated medical examinations, and/or self-report. We estimated years lived without any of these diseases between 40 and 75 years of age according to sex and characteristics of alcohol use. We repeated the main analyses using data from 427,621 participants in the UK Biobank cohort study.

FINDINGS: During 1.73 million person-years at risk, 22,676 participants in IPD-Work cohorts developed at least one chronic condition. From age 40 to 75 years, never-drinkers [men: 29.3 (95%CI 27.9-30.8) years, women 29.8 (29.2-30.4) years)] and moderate drinkers with no binge drinking habit [men 28.7 (28.4-29.0) years, women 29.6 (29.4-29.7) years] had the longest disease-free life span. A much shorter disease-free life span was apparent in participants who experienced alcohol poisoning [men 23.4 (20.9-26.0) years, women 24.0 (21.4-26.5) years] and those with self-reported heavy overall consumption and binge drinking [men: 26.0 (25.3-26.8), women 27.5 (26.4-28.5) years]. The pattern of results for alcohol poisoning and self-reported alcohol consumption was similar in UK Biobank. In IPD-Work and UK Biobank, differences in disease-free years between self-reported moderate drinkers and heavy drinkers were 1.5 years or less.

INTERPRETATION: Individuals with alcohol poisonings or heavy self-reported overall consumption combined with a binge drinking habit have a marked 3- to 6-year loss in healthy longevity. Differences in disease-free life between categories of self-reported weekly alcohol consumption were smaller. Funding: Medical Research Council, National Institute on Aging, NordForsk, Academy of Finland, Finnish Work Environment Fund.

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