30 April 2019 In General Health

The scientific evidence available on the association between moderate alcohol intake and levels of blood cardiometabolic markers is still inconsistent and difficult to interpret for future disease prevention. However, we hypothesize that moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with lower levels of inflammation markers and higher levels of protective cardiometabolic markers. Thus, this work aimed to examine the associations of moderate alcohol intake and the type of alcoholic beverage with metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers. An observational, cross-sectional study including 143 apparently healthy adults 55years of age and older was performed. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were used to collect information on alcoholic beverage intake frequency, food frequency, physical activity, socioeconomic status, diseases and medications, and other health-related habits. Three groups were established prior to recruitment: (1) abstainers and occasional consumers (ABS, n=54); (2) beer consumers (BEER >/=80% of total alcohol intake; n=40), and (3) mixed beverage consumers (MIXED; n=49). Univariate analysis of variance models, adjusted for confounding factors and covariables, were performed. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) and sP-selectin were significantly higher in the MIXED group than in the ABS group, and adiponectin was higher in the MIXED group compared to the BEER group. All alcohol consumers also had higher mean platelet volume values compared to ABS. In linear regression analyses, HDL-c, sP-selectin, and adiponectin were positively associated with wine intake (g/d) (P<.001, P=.014, and P=.017, respectively); and mean platelet volume, with beer intake (P=.017). In conclusion, this cross-sectional study showed that moderate alcohol intake is associated with higher levels of HDL-c and adiponectin compared to those in abstainers, which are mainly explained by wine intake.

30 April 2019 In Drinking Patterns

This study examined changes in public knowledge of low-risk drinking, explored factors associated with knowledge level and its relationship with a reduction in alcohol consumption. Data (n=153,820) of six waves of the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, conducted during the period 2001-2016, were analysed. Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol was applied to compute participants' knowledge of low-risk drinking. This guideline was introduced in 2001 and later revised in 2009. Multivariable log-binomial regression model was used to analyse the pooled dataset. Subgroup analysis examined the relationship between knowledge score and a reduction in alcohol consumption across drinker categories. Public knowledge was better for long-term than short-term low-risk drinking, and women had better knowledge than men. Since 2010 there has been a small increase in knowledge of low-risk drinking. Although level of knowledge improved over time, it appears to align more towards the 2001-guideline, particularly for the recommended limits for men. Those who were relatively old; were women; received at least year-10 or more education; were not residing in the most disadvantaged areas; identified themselves as either light-, social-, heavy- or binge-drinkers; were currently/previously married; or perceived their health 'excellent' were significantly more likely than others to have an accurate knowledge of low-risk drinking. There was a positive association between knowledge score and the reduction in alcohol consumption among the self-reported social drinkers, heavy drinkers and binge drinkers. Tailored interventions are recommended for those who lack adequate knowledge and drink at a risky level.

28 March 2019 In General Health

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, had said: "Wine is a thing wonderfully appropriate to man if, in health as in disease, it is administered with appropriate and just measure according to the individual constitution." Wine has always accompanied humanity, for religion or for health. Christians and Jews need wine for the liturgy. For Plato, wine was an indispensable element in society and the most important in the symposium. In this second part of the banquet, mixed with water, the wine gave the word. If the French paradox made a lot of ink flow; it was the wine that was originally responsible for it. Many researchers have tried to study alcohol and polyphenols in wine, in order to solve the mystery. Beyond its cardiovascular effects, there are also effects on longevity, metabolism, cancer prevention, and neuroprotection, and the list goes on. The purpose of this work is to make an analysis of the current knowledge on the subject. Indeed, if the paradigm of antioxidants is seductive, it is perhaps by their prooxidant effect that the polyphenols act, by an epigenetic process mediated by nrf2. Wine is a preserve of antioxidants for the winter and it is by this property that the wine acts, in an alcoholic solution. A wine without alcohol is pure heresy. Wine is the elixir that by design, over millennials, has acted as a pharmacopeia that enabled man to heal and prosper on the planet. From Alvise Cornaro to Serge Renaud, nutrition was the key to health and longevity, whether the Cretan or Okinawa diet, it is the small dose of alcohol (wine or sake) that allows the bioavailability of polyphenols. Moderate drinking gives a protection for diseases and a longevity potential. In conclusion, let us drink fewer, but drink better, to live older.

28 March 2019 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that people who develop serious health conditions are likely to cease drinking alcohol (sometimes known as "sick-quitters"). We quantified the likelihood of quitting drinking in relation to the onset of a variety of health conditions.

METHODS: Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of ceasing alcohol consumption after diagnosis of 28 health conditions and 4 general indicators of health were derived from logistic regression among 97,852 drinkers aged >/= 45 years between baseline (2006 to 2009) and median 5.3 years of follow-up in the New South Wales 45 and Up Study. Incident health conditions at follow-up were self-reported.

RESULTS: At follow-up, 9.6% (n = 9,438) of drinkers had ceased drinking. Drinking cessation was significantly associated with 24 of 32 health conditions examined: 15.4% of participants with newly diagnosed diabetes quit drinking (OR for quitting vs. continuing 1.77, 95% CI: 1.60 to 1.96), 16.4% with Parkinson's disease (1.71, 1.35 to 2.17), 17.8% with poor memory (1.68, 1.43 to 1.97), 19.2% with hip fracture (1.64, 1.30 to 2.06), 14.7% with stroke (1.45, 1.27 to 1.66), 12.5% with depression (1.40, 1.26 to 1.55), 15.0% with breast cancer (1.38, 1.18 to 1.61), 12.3% with heart disease (1.34, 1.25 to 1.44), and 13.3% with osteoarthritis (1.22, 1.12 to 1.33). Strong associations with quitting were observed in those with a decline in self-rated overall health (2.93, 2.53 to 3.40) and quality of life (2.68, 2.24 to 3.21). Some health conditions not significantly associated with quitting were prostate cancer, melanoma, nonmelanoma skin cancer, hay fever, and hearing loss. Findings were generally consistent for men and women, by age group and by smoking status.

CONCLUSIONS: Diagnosis with a variety of health conditions appears to prompt drinking cessation in older adults.

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