26 November 2019 In Cardiovascular System

In recent years, epidemiologists have increasingly sought to employ genetic data to identify 'causal' relationships between exposures of interest and various endpoints - an instrumental variable approach sometimes termed Mendelian randomization. However, this approach is subject to all of the limitations of instrumental variable analysis and to several limitations specific to its genetic underpinnings, including confounding, weak instrument bias, pleiotropy, adaptation, and failure of replication. Although the approach enjoys some utility in testing the etiological role of discrete biochemical pathways, like folate metabolism, examples like that of alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease demonstrate that it must be treated with all of the circumspection that should accompany all forms of observational epidemiology. Going forward, we urge the elimination of randomization or causality in reports of its use and suggest that Mendelian randomization instead be termed exactly what it is - genetic instrumental variable analysis.

24 October 2019 In General Health
The effect of alcohol intake on varicose veins (VV) has not been determined by its consumption level. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between alcohol intake and VV in an elderly general population. Using a cross-sectional approach, the Shimane CoHRE Study data, comprising a total of 1060 participants, were analyzed. By multivariate regression analysis adjusted with basic characteristics, past work history, lifestyle-related factors and medical history, compared with non-drinkers, mild drinkers (<20.0 g/day) showed a significantly lower adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of VV (aOR = 0.64, P = 0.036). In a similar way, regular drinkers (1-5 days/week) showed a significantly lower aOR of VV when compared with occasional drinkers (aOR = 0.57, P = 0.032). VV and alcohol intake showed J-curve relationships. In a stratified analysis by alcohol consumption levels, the association of smoking and VV were also observed in moderate to heavy drinkers and habitual drinkers. These findings can provide better understanding of pathophysiological mechanism and be used for evidence-based patient education.
27 September 2019 In Diabetes

BACKGROUND: The association between change in alcohol intake and metabolic syndrome is unclear.

METHODS: This retrospective cohort consisted of 41,368 males and females from the Health Examinees-GEM study. Participants were divided into non-drinkers (0.0 g/day), light drinkers (male: 0.1 to 19.9 g/day; female: 0.1 to 9.9 g/day), moderate drinkers (male: 20.0 to 39.9 g/day; female: 10.0 to 19.9 g/day), and heavy drinkers (male: >/=40.0 g/day; female: >/=20.0 g/day) for each of the initial and follow-up health examinations. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for developing metabolic syndrome according to the change in alcohol consumption between the initial and follow-up health examinations. Adjusted mean values for the change in waist circumference, fasting serum glucose (FSG), blood pressure, triglycerides, and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels were determined according to the change in alcohol consumption by linear regression analysis.

RESULTS: Compared to persistent light drinkers, those who increased alcohol intake to heavy levels had elevated risk of metabolic syndrome (aOR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.92). In contrast, heavy drinkers who became light drinkers had reduced risk of metabolic syndrome (aOR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.44 to 0.84) compared to persistent heavy drinkers. Increased alcohol consumption was associated with elevated adjusted mean values for waist circumference, FSG, blood pressure, triglycerides, and HDL-C levels (all P<0.05). Reduction in alcohol intake was associated with decreased waist circumference, FSG, blood pressure, triglycerides, and HDL-C levels among initial heavy drinkers (all P<0.05).

CONCLUSION: Heavy drinkers who reduce alcohol consumption could benefit from reduced risk of metabolic syndrome.

12 August 2019 In General Health

AIMS: To review the effectiveness of workplace interventions in reducing alcohol consumption among employees.

METHODS: Systematic search of science databases from inception till May 2018 for trials where an intervention was tested against a control and data presented as amount of alcohol consumed per week. Quality of trials was assessed by Cochrane risk of bias tool. Meta-analysis was performed with random-effects model and pooled mean difference (MD) was reported with 95% confidence interval. Publication bias was assessed using Egger's test.

RESULTS: Seven trials with 1291 participants could be included. No outcome assessments were blinded. There was positive effect of workplace intervention on reduction of alcohol consumption with pooled MD of -2.25 [95% CI: -4.20 to -0.30]. The effect was only seen where subjects had a baseline alcohol consumption of over 15 standard drinks per week. There was no heterogeneity across the trials (I2=0%). Funnel plot was symmetrical shaped and Egger's test confirmed that there was no publication bias. Two studies found no advantages to intervention on differences on the AUDIT test.

CONCLUSION: There is weak evidence for workplace interventions (varying modes) as a way of facilitating reduction in the consumption of alcohol among employees but only among the heavier consumers.

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