05 June 2020 In General Health

The association between alcohol consumption and venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk has been investigated by various observational studies with inconsistent results. We examined this association by performing a meta-analysis of prospective studies.

A comprehensive literature search was carried out in the PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science from its inception to February 2020. Pooled effect estimates were calculated using a random effect model. Ten prospective studies (14 cohorts) were included in this meta-analysis with a total of 441,128 individuals and 10,221 VTE cases. Overall, the highest consumption of alcohol was not associated with the VTE risk compared with the lowest group [relative risk (RR), 0.96 (95% CI, 0.89-1.04), P = 0.293]. No obvious heterogeneity of RRs was observed across these studies (P = 0.249 for heterogeneity, I (2) = 18.8%). Egger's and Begg's tests showed no evidence of publication bias (Egger, P = 0.443; Begg, P = 0.730).

In the subgroup analysis by sex, a borderline significant association between alcohol consumption and VTE risk was observed in women [RR, 0.91 (95% CI, 0.82-1.00)]. In the dose-response analysis, we observed a linear decrease in VTE risk with increasing alcohol intake (P = 0.634 for nonlinearity). However, the reduced risk was not statistically significant.

In conclusion, the results from this meta-analysis suggest that alcohol intake is not related with the risk of VTE. Further large well-designed cohort studies are warranted to investigate a potential protective role of alcohol against VTE in women.

04 May 2020 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND/AIM: The association between alcohol consumption and subclinical atherosclerosis is still unclear. Using data from a European multicentre study, we assess subclinical atherosclerosis and its 30-month progression by carotid intima-media thickness (C-IMT) measurements, and correlate this information with self-reported data on alcohol consumption.

METHODS: Between 2002-2004, 1772 men and 1931 women aged 54-79 years with at least three risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) were recruited in Italy, France, Netherlands, Sweden, and Finland. Self-reported alcohol consumption, assessed at baseline, was categorized as follows: none (0 g/d), very-low (0 - 5 g/d), low (> 5 to 10 to 10 to 20 g/d for women, > 30 g/d for men). C-IMT was measured in millimeters at baseline and after 30 months. Measurements consisted of the mean and maximum values of the common carotids (CC), internal carotid artery (ICA), and bifurcations (Bif) and whole carotid tree. We used quantile regression to describe the associations between C-IMT measures and alcohol consumption categories, adjusting for sex, age, physical activity, education, smoking, diet, and latitude.

RESULTS: Adjusted differences between median C-IMT values in different levels of alcohol consumption (vs. very-low) showed that moderate alcohol consumption was associated with lower C-IMTmax[- 0.17(95%CI - 0.32; - 0.02)], and Bif-IMTmean[- 0.07(95%CI - 0.13; - 0.01)] at baseline and decreasing C-IMTmean[- 0.006 (95%CI - 0.011; - 0.000)], Bif-IMTmean[- 0.016(95%CI - 0.027; - 0.005)], ICA-IMTmean[- 0.009(95% - 0.016; - 0.002)] and ICA-IMTmax[- 0.016(95%: - 0.032; - 0.000)] after 30 months. There was no evidence of departure from linearity in the association between alcohol consumption and C-IMT.

CONCLUSION: In this European population at high risk of CVD, findings show an inverse relation between moderate alcohol consumption and carotid subclinical atherosclerosis and its 30-month progression, independently of several potential confounders.

21 February 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Problem drinking carries significant health burdens, including an increased risk of hypertension. The effect of chronic alcohol intake on blood pressure (BP) in women is understudied and poorly understood.

OBJECTIVES: We sought to examine the relationships between drinking habits and BP in hypertensive women. METHODS: We analyzed drinking habits in 113 women followed in the Brigham and Women's Hospital Hypertension Clinic for at least one year.

RESULTS: Among these women with well-controlled hypertension, baseline diastolic BP was significantly lower in moderate drinkers compared with women who rarely or never drank. Changes in both systolic and diastolic BP over 12 months showed a significant negative association with changes in percent drinking days. In contrast, there was a trend toward higher baseline systolic BP among those women who consumed more drinks per drinking day.

CONCLUSIONS: Among these women with controlled hypertension, our data failed to demonstrate an association between drinking beyond recommended limits and higher disease burden. These findings parallel the widely reported difference between drinking frequency, associated with a host of positive health outcomes, and drinking intensity, associated with negative outcomes. Novel to this report is an observed reduction in blood pressure over the one-year follow-up period accompanying an increased drinking frequency in treated hypertensive women. Cautions include the suggestion that a greater number of drinks per drinking day was associated with higher baseline pressure. These data imply that drinking within sensible limits has no negative impact on chronic hypertension. In fact, for women with well-controlled hypertension, such a habit may impart benefit

21 February 2020 In Cardiovascular System

OBJECTIVE: To examine how a healthy lifestyle is related to life expectancy that is free from major chronic diseases. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: The Nurses' Health Study (1980-2014; n=73 196) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986-2014; n=38 366).

MAIN EXPOSURES: Five low risk lifestyle factors: never smoking, body mass index 18.5-24.9, moderate to vigorous physical activity (>/=30 minutes/day), moderate alcohol intake (women: 5-15 g/day; men 5-30 g/day), and a higher diet quality score (upper 40%).

MAIN OUTCOME: Life expectancy free of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. RESULTS: The life expectancy free of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer at age 50 was 23.7 years (95% confidence interval 22.6 to 24.7) for women who adopted no low risk lifestyle factors, in contrast to 34.4 years (33.1 to 35.5) for women who adopted four or five low risk factors. At age 50, the life expectancy free of any of these chronic diseases was 23.5 (22.3 to 24.7) years among men who adopted no low risk lifestyle factors and 31.1 (29.5 to 32.5) years in men who adopted four or five low risk lifestyle factors. For current male smokers who smoked heavily (>/=15 cigarettes/day) or obese men and women (body mass index >/=30), their disease-free life expectancies accounted for the lowest proportion (</=75%) of total life expectancy at age 50.

CONCLUSION: Adherence to a healthy lifestyle at mid-life is associated with a longer life expectancy free of major chronic diseases.

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