28 September 2023 In General Health
OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between the Mediterranean lifestyle and all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in a British population. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We studied 110,799 individuals 40 to 75 years of age from the UK Biobank cohort, free of CVD or cancer between 2009 and 2012 who were followed-up to 2021. The Mediterranean lifestyle was assessed at baseline through the Mediterranean Lifestyle (MEDLIFE) index, derived from the lifestyle questionnaire and diet assessments and comprising three blocks: (1) "Mediterranean food consumption," (2) "Mediterranean dietary habits," and (3) "physical activity, rest, social habits, and conviviality." Death information was retrieved from death register records. Cox regression models were used to analyze the study associations. RESULTS: During a median 9.4-year follow-up, 4247 total deaths, 2401 cancer deaths, and 731 CVD deaths were identified. Compared with the first quartile of the MEDLIFE index, increasing quartiles had HRs of 0.89 (95% CI, 0.81 to 0.97), 0.81 (95% CI, 0.74 to 0.89), and 0.71 (95% CI, 0.65 to 0.78) (P-trend<.001 for all-cause mortality). For cancer mortality, the quartiles had HRs of 0.90 (95% CI, 0.80 to 1.01), 0.83 (95% CI, 0.74 to 0.93), and 0.72 (95% CI, 0.64 to 0.82) (P-trend<.001). All MEDLIFE index blocks were independently associated with lower risk of all-cause and cancer death, and block 3 was associated with lower CVD mortality. CONCLUSION: Higher adherence to the Mediterranean lifestyle was associated with lower all-cause and cancer mortality in British middle-aged and older adults in a dose-response manner. Adopting a Mediterranean lifestyle adapted to the local characteristics of non-Mediterranean populations may be possible and part of a healthy lifestyle.
28 September 2023 In General Health

Brain gray- and white matter changes is well described in alcohol-dependent elderly subjects; however, the effect of lower levels of alcohol consumption on the brain is poorly understood. We investigated the impact of different amounts of weekly alcohol consumption on brain structure in a population-based sample of 70-year-olds living in Gothenburg, Sweden. Cross-sectional data from 676 participants from The Gothenburg H70 Birth Cohort Study 2014-16 were included. Current alcohol consumers were divided into seven groups based on self-reported weekly amounts of alcohol consumption in grams (g) (0-50 g/week, used as reference group, 51-100 g/week, 101-150 g/week, 151-200 g/week, 201-250 g/week, 251-300 g/week, and > 300 g/week). Subcortical volumes and cortical thickness were assessed on T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance images using FreeSurfer 5.3, and white matter integrity assessed on diffusion tensor images, using tract-based statistics in FSL. General linear models were carried out to estimate associations between alcohol consumption and gray- and white matter changes in the brain. Self-reported consumption above 250 g/week was associated with thinning in the bilateral superior frontal gyrus, the right precentral gyrus, and the right lateral occipital cortex, in addition to reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) and increased mean diffusivity (MD) diffusively spread in many tracts all over the brain. No changes were found in subcortical gray matter structures. These results suggest that there is a non-linear relationship between alcohol consumption and structural brain changes, in which loss of cortical thickness only occur in non-demented 70-year-olds who consume more than 250 g/week.

28 September 2023 In General Health

Background The relationship between alcohol consumption and ectopic fat distribution, both known factors for cardiovascular disease, remains understudied. Therefore, we aimed to examine the association between alcohol consumption and ectopic adiposity in adults at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Methods and Results In this cross-sectional analysis, we categorized alcohol intake among participants in MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) as follows (drinks/day): 2 (heavy drinking), former drinking, and lifetime abstention. Binge drinking was defined as consuming >/=5 drinks on 1 occasion in the past month. Visceral, subcutaneous, and intermuscular fat area, pericardial fat volume, and hepatic fat attenuation were measured using noncontrast computed tomography. Using multivariable linear regression, we examined the associations between categories of alcohol consumption and natural log-transformed fat in ectopic depots. We included 6756 MESA participants (62.1+/-10.2 years; 47.2% women), of whom 6734 and 1934 had chest computed tomography (pericardial and hepatic fat) and abdominal computed tomography (subcutaneous, intermuscular, and visceral fat), respectively. In adjusted analysis, heavy drinking, relative to lifetime abstention, was associated with a higher (relative percent difference) pericardial 15.1 [95% CI, 7.1-27.7], hepatic 3.4 [95% CI, 0.1-6.8], visceral 2.5 [95% CI, -10.4 to 17.2], and intermuscular 5.2 [95% CI, -6.6 to 18.4] fat but lower subcutaneous fat -3.5 [95% CI, -15.5 to 10.2]). The associations between alcohol consumption and ectopic adiposity exhibited a J-shaped pattern. Binge drinking, relative to light-to-moderate drinking, was also associated with higher ectopic fat.

Conclusions Alcohol consumption had a J-shaped association with ectopic adiposity. Both heavy alcohol intake and binge alcohol drinking were associated with higher ectopic fat.

28 September 2023 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by chronic widespread pain, as well as anxiety, sadness, and depression. These symptoms are present in most patients and have a negative impact on their daily, family, and social life. The role of neurotransmitters in the pathophysiology of FM has been extensively discussed. The scientific evidence shows that levels of serotonin are decreased in patients with FM. Numerous studies support the beneficial effects that moderate wine consumption has on the body, with cardiovascular, endocrine, bone, and muscle improvements.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this pilot study was to assess whether light consumption of red wine improves the main symptoms of FM.

METHODS: The study consisted of an experimental study with a control group with a total of 60 women diagnosed with FM following the American College of Rheumatology's criteria. The experimental group ingested 15 g of alcohol per day, in the form of red wine, over a period of four weeks. The outcome measures were: the level of pain in tender points, sadness, anxiety, depression, and quality of life. The assessments tools were: tender point graphics, the visual analogue scale (for the assessment of pain and sadness), the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire. The measurements were completed before and after the consumption of red wine. In addition, the differences between groups were evaluated in terms of drug consumption in the pre-intervention and follow-up phases.

RESULTS: Statistically significant improvements were obtained in the wine ingestion group for the variables of pain (p = 0.038), tender points (p < 0.001), and anxiety (p = 0.028). An improvement in the mean values was observed in favor of the experimental group for the variables of sadness, depression, and quality of life. The differences observed in the changes seen in the groups that were in favor of the wine ingestion group should not be attributed to the consumption of drugs but to the fact that the experimental group had a light intake of red wine.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this pilot study suggest a potential relationship between alcohol intake through the light consumption of red wine as part of the patients' diet and the improvement of the main symptoms of fibromyalgia. Future studies are necessary to confirm these preliminary data; a bigger sample and a controlled diet should be considered, and the mechanisms through which improvements are achieved should be analyzed.

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