26 August 2022 In Drinking Patterns

INTRODUCTION: A significant amount of binge drinking among adults escapes public health scrutiny because it occurs among individuals who drink at a moderate average level. This observational study examined the role of a binge pattern of drinking in predicting alcohol problems among moderate drinkers in a U.S. national sample of adults.

METHODS: Participants were 1,229 current drinkers aged >/=30 years from 2 waves of the study of Midlife Development in the United States, with a 9-year time lag (2004-2015) (analyzed in 20212022). Negative binomial regression analyses were used to examine the number of alcohol problems, and binary logistic regression analyses were used to examine multiple (>/=2) alcohol problems.

RESULTS: Independent of the average level of drinking, binge drinking was linked with an almost 3 times increase in the number of concurrent alcohol problems and a 40% increase in the number of alcohol problems prospectively 9 years later. Moderate average level drinkers accounted for most cases of binge drinking and multiple alcohol problems. Among moderate drinkers, binge drinking was linked with a close to 5 times increase in concurrent multiple alcohol problems and a >2 times increase in multiple alcohol problems prospectively 9 years later.

CONCLUSIONS: These results substantially broaden an increasing recognition that binge drinking is a public health concern among adults. Moderate average-level drinkers should be included in efforts to reduce alcohol problems in adults. These findings are applicable to primary and secondary prevention of alcohol problems with the potential to advance population health.

26 August 2022 In Drinking Patterns

This review discusses the inconsistent recommendations on alcohol consumption and its association with chronic disease, highlighting the need for an evidence-based consensus. Alcohol is an addictive substance consumed worldwide, especially in European countries. Recommendations on alcohol consumption are controversial.

On one hand, many nonrandomized studies defend that moderate consumption has a beneficial cardiovascular effect or a lower risk of all-cause mortality. On the other hand, alcohol is associated with an increased risk of cancer, neurological diseases, or injuries, among others.

For years, efforts have been made to answer the question regarding the safe amount of alcohol intake, but controversies remain. Observational studies advocate moderate alcohol consumption following a Mediterranean pattern (red wine with meals avoiding binge drinking) as the best option for current drinkers.

However, agencies such as the IARC recommend abstention from alcohol as it is a potent carcinogen. In this context, more randomized trial with larger sample size and hard clinical endpoints should be conducted to clarify the available evidence and provide clinicians with support for their clinical practice.

26 August 2022 In Drinking Patterns

Older adults of today consume more alcohol, yet knowledge about the factors associated with different consumption levels is limited in this age group. Based on the data from a population-based sample (n = 1156, 539 men and 617 women) in The Gothenburg H70 Birth Cohort Study 2014-16, we examined sociodemographic, social, and health-related factors associated with alcohol consumption levels in 70-year-olds, using logistic regression. Total weekly alcohol intake was calculated based on the self-reported amount of alcohol consumed.

Alcohol consumption was categorized as lifetime abstention, former drinking, moderate consumption (98 g/week). At-risk consumption was further categorized into lower at-risk (98-196 g/week), medium at-risk (196-350 g/week), and higher at-risk (>/=350 g/week). We found that among the 1156 participants, 3% were lifetime abstainers, 3% were former drinkers, 64% were moderate drinkers, and 30% were at-risk drinkers (20% lower, 8% medium, 2% higher).

Among several factors, former drinking was associated with worse general self-rated health (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.08-2.51) and lower health-related quality of life (measured by physical component score) (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.91-0.97), higher illness burden (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.07-1.27), and weaker grip strength (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.94-0.98). Higher at-risk drinkers more often had liver disease (OR 11.41, 95% CI 3.48-37.37) and minor depression (OR 4.57, 95% CI 1.40-14.95), but less contacts with health care (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.11-0.92).

Our findings demonstrate the importance of classifications beyond abstinence and at-risk consumption, with implications for both the prevention and clinical management of unhealthy consumption patterns in older adults.

15 June 2022 In Drinking Patterns

AIMS: To examine the association of alcohol consumption patterns with growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) in older drinkers, separately among individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD)/diabetes and those without them, as GDF-15 is a strong biomarker of chronic disease burden.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Population-based study in Madrid (Spain). PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2051 life-time drinkers aged 65+ years included in the Seniors-ENRICA-2 study in 2015-17. Participants' mean age was 71.4 years and 55.4% were men.

MEASUREMENTS: According to their average life-time alcohol intake, participants were classified as occasional ( 1.43-20 g/day; women: > 1.43-10 g/day), moderate-risk (men: > 20-40 g/day; women: > 10-20 g/day) and high-risk drinkers (men: > 40 g/day; women: > 20 g/day; or binge drinkers). We also ascertained wine preference (> 80% of alcohol derived from wine), drinking with meals and adherence to a Mediterranean drinking pattern (MDP) defined as low-risk drinking, wine preference and one of the following: drinking only with meals; higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet; or any of these.

FINDINGS: In participants without CVD/diabetes, GDF-15 increased by 0.27% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.06%, 0.48%] per 1 g/day increment in alcohol among high-risk drinkers, but there was no clear evidence of association in those with lower intakes or in the overall group, or across categories of alcohol consumption status. Conversely, among those with CVD/diabetes, GDF-15 rose by 0.19% (95% CI = 0.05%, 0.33%) per 1 g/day increment in the overall group and GDF-15 was 26.89% (95% CI = 12.93%, 42.58%) higher in high-risk versus low-risk drinkers. Drinking with meals did not appear to be related to GDF-15, but among those without CVD/diabetes, wine preference and adherence to the MDP were associated with lower GDF-15, especially when combined with high adherence to the Mediterranean diet.

CONCLUSIONS: Among older life-time drinkers in Madrid, Spain, high-risk drinking was positively associated with growth differentiation factor 15 (a biomarker of chronic disease burden). There was inconclusive evidence of a beneficial association for low-risk consumption.

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