27 September 2019 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption in later life has increased in the past decade, and the relationship between alcohol consumption and mortality is controversial. Recent studies suggest little, if any, health benefit to alcohol. Yet most rely on single-time point consumption assessments and minimal confounder adjustments.

METHODS: We report on 16 years of follow-up from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) cohorts born 1931 to 1941 (N = 7,904, baseline mean age = 61, SD = 3.18). Respondents were queried about drinking frequency/quantity. Mortality was established via exit interviews and confirmed with the national death index. Time-varying confounders included but were not limited to household assets, smoking, body mass index, health/functioning, depression, chronic disease; time-invariant confounders included baseline age, education, sex, and race.

RESULTS: After adjustment, current abstainers had the highest risk of subsequent mortality, consistent with sick quitters, and moderate (men: HR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.60 to 0.91; women: HR = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.63 to 1.07) drinking was associated with a lower mortality rate compared with occasional drinking, though smokers and men evidenced less of an inverse association. Quantitative bias analyses indicated that omitted confounders would need to be associated with ~4-fold increases in mortality rates for men and ~9-fold increases for women to change the results.

CONCLUSIONS: There are consistent associations between moderate/occasional drinking and lower mortality, though residual confounding remains a threat to validity. Continued efforts to conduct large-scale observational studies of alcohol consumption and mortality are needed to characterize the changing patterns of consumption in older age.

09 August 2019 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: An investigation of the risk of high blood pressure (HBP) associated with heavy alcohol consumption in adolescence and early adulthood is lacking. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the association between binge drinking from adolescence to early adulthood and the risk of HBP in early adulthood.

METHODS: We applied logistic regression to publicly available, population-representative data from waves I (1994-1995; ages 12-18) and IV (2007-2008; ages 24-32) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (n=5114) to determine whether past 12-month binge drinking in adolescence (wave I) and early adulthood (wave IV) was associated with HBP in early adulthood after adjusting for covariates, including smoking and body mass index. HBP was defined according to both the former and new classifications.

RESULTS: HBP was significantly, positively associated with infrequent binge drinking (less than once a week) in adolescence based on the new classification (overall: OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.49; male: OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.81) and frequent binge drinking (heavy consumption) in adolescence based on the former classification (overall: OR= 1.64, 95% CI 1.22 to 2.22; male: OR= 1.79, 95% CI 1.23 to 2.60). The risk of HBP was high when participants engaged in frequent binge drinking in both adolescence and early adulthood, especially based on the former classification (overall: OR 2.43, 95% CI 1.13 to 5.20; female: OR 5.81, 95% CI 2.26 to 14.93).

CONCLUSION: Binge drinking in adolescence may increase risk of HBP in early adulthood. This association is independent of other important risk factors for HPB, such as smoking and obesity.

24 June 2019 In General Health
Studies indicate an inverse association between moderate alcohol consumption and chronic inflammatory diseases; however, the association between alcohol consumption and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) incidence has not been widely studied. We investigated the associations of total alcohol consumption and intake of specific alcoholic beverages with risk of COPD in a population-based prospective cohort study, the Cohort of Swedish Men (n = 44,254). Alcohol consumption was assessed with a self-administered questionnaire in 1997. During follow-up (1998-2014), 2,177 COPD cases were ascertained. Moderate alcohol consumption was associated with the lowest risk of COPD. A J-shaped association was observed for ethanol consumption (P for nonlinearity = 0.003) and beer consumption (P for nonlinearity < 0.001); for wine consumption, a U-shaped association was observed (P for nonlinearity < 0.001). Defining a "standard drink" as 12 g of ethanol, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios were 0.77 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.66, 0.90) and 0.92 (95% CI: 0.81, 1.05) for beer consumption of 4.1-6.0 and >6.0 standard drinks/week (SDW) versus <1.0 SDW, respectively; 0.80 (95% CI: 0.69, 0.93) and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.83, 1.21) for wine consumption of 2.0-4.0 and >4.0 SDW versus <1.0 SDW, respectively; and 1.10 (95% CI: 0.98, 1.24) and 1.20 (95% CI: 0.99, 1.44) for liquor consumption of 2.0-4.0 and >4.0 SDW versus <1.0 SDW, respectively. In conclusion, our findings suggest that moderate beer and wine consumption, but not liquor consumption, may decrease risk of COPD. Additional studies are needed to confirm these associations.
24 June 2019 In Dementia

AIM: To evaluate the association between the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption and incident dementia in older Japanese adults using large sample size data over a long follow-up period.

METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study carried out in Japan. A total of 53 311 older adults were followed from 2008 to 2014. A health checkup questionnaire was used to assess the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption. The Dementia Scale of long-term care insurance was used as a measure of incident dementia. Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate adjusted hazard ratios, with their 95% confidence intervals, for the incidence of dementia across the categories of alcohol consumption by sex.

RESULTS: During a 7-year follow-up period, 14 479 participants were regarded as having incident dementia. Compared with non-drinkers, the multivariate adjusted hazard ratios for participants with alcohol consumption 2 units per day, occasionally (0.91, 95% 0.71-1.16 in men and 1.09, 95% 0.72-1.67 in women) and daily (0.89, 95% 0.81-1.00 in men and 1.16, 95% 0.84-1.81 in women) were not significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption of </=2 units per day, occasionally or daily, could reduce the risk of incident dementia, with greater benefit for men with such daily consumption. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2019; **: **-**.

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