05 June 2020 In General Health

Funding of research by industry in general can lead to sponsorship bias. The aim of the current study was to conduct an initial exploration of the impact of sponsorship bias in observational alcohol research by focusing on a broad spectrum of health outcomes.

The purpose was to determine whether the outcome depended on funding source. We focused on moderate alcohol consumption and used meta-analyses that are the basis of several international alcohol guidelines. These meta-analyses included observational studies that investigated the association of alcohol consumption with 14 different health outcomes, including all-cause mortality, several cardiovascular diseases and cancers, dementia, and type 2 diabetes.

Subgroup analyses and metaregressions were conducted to investigate the association between moderate alcohol consumption and the risk of different health outcomes, comparing findings of studies funded by the alcohol industry, ones not funded by the alcohol industry, and studies with an unknown funding source. A total of 386 observational studies were included.

Twenty-one studies (5.4%) were funded by the alcohol industry, 309 studies (80.1%) were not funded by the alcohol industry, and for the remaining 56 studies (14.5%) the funding source was unknown. Subgroup analyses and metaregressions did not show an effect of funding source on the association between moderate alcohol intake and different health outcomes.

In conclusion, only a small proportion of observational studies in meta-analyses, referred to by several international alcohol guidelines, are funded by the alcohol industry. Based on this selection of observational studies the association between moderate alcohol consumption and different health outcomes does not seem to be related to funding source.

05 June 2020 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Cancers constitute a major non-communicable disease category globally and in the European Union (EU).

SUMMARY: Alcohol use has been established as a major cause of cancer in humans. Principal cancer agencies agree that the following cancer sites are causally impacted by alcohol: lip and oral cavity, pharynx (excluding nasopharynx), oesophagus, colon and rectum, liver, (female) breast, and larynx. For all of these cancer sites, there is a dose-response relationship with no apparent threshold: the higher the average level of consumption, the higher the risk of cancer incidence.

In the EU in 2016, about 80,000 people died of alcohol-attributable cancer, and about 1.9 million years of life were lost due to premature mortality or due to disability. Key messages: Given the above-described impact of alcohol on cancer, public awareness about the alcohol-cancer link needs to be increased.

In addition, effective alcohol policy measures should be implemented. As a large part of alcohol-attributable cancers are in low and moderate alcohol users, in particular for females, general population measures such as increases in taxation, restrictions on availability, and bans on marketing and advertisement are best suited to reduce the alcohol-attributable cancer burden.

26 November 2019 In Cancer

Mediterranean diet (MD) is a well-known healthy dietary pattern, linked to: (1) high intakes of olive oil as main the culinary fat, plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, tree nuts, and seeds), and fish; and (2) a moderate consumption of white meat, eggs, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, and wine always with meals [...].

27 September 2019 In Cancer

Background: Alcohol intake is a leading modifiable cause related to cancer-specific deaths. Various alcohol intake patterns have shown to impact cancer progression differently, however, many studies only evaluated simplified patterns (such as heavy vs. non-heavy drinking) of alcohol intake for cancer survivors. The objective of this study is to provide population-based prevalence of the complex alcohol drinking patterns for cancer survivors, and compare it with that of non-cancer individuals. Additionally, we evaluated the impact of cancer related factors (binary, alcohol-related cancer type, and length of cancer history) to the alcohol intake patterns adjusted for the selected factors. Methods: A total of 193,197 individuals, including 16,504 cancer survivors, with age >/=18 years old in the 2012-2017 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were included in this study. The population-based prevalence of alcohol patterns was estimated. To evaluate cancer related factors associated with the alcohol intake patterns, we applied multinomial logistic models with the appropriate sampling weights and adjusted the selected demographic factors and smoking status. Results: There were 62.1% of cancer survivors and 66.0% of non-cancer individuals who were current alcohol drinkers in the past year. The prevalence of heavy drinking was identical for 5.2% of cancer and non-cancer individuals. For frequent binge drinking, cancer survivors tended to have less frequent binge than non-cancer individuals (2.8% vs. 4.9%). After adjusting for the selected demographic factors and smoking status, the cancer survivors were less likely to have the intermediate level of alcohol intake (light/moderate or occasional binge drinking) compared with non-cancer individuals, but no difference for the excessive alcohol intake (heavy or frequent binge drinking) was observed for those with and without cancer. As for cancer type, those with non-alcohol related cancer tended to be a current drinker compared with those with alcohol-related cancer. Compared with cancer survivors with a short cancer history (2-4 years), survivors with a cancer history of 5-9 years were more likely to be current drinkers after adjusting for the selected factors. Cancer status, alcohol-related cancer type and length of cancer history had no impact on excessive alcohol intake.

Conclusions: In summary, cancer survivors have similar excessive alcohol drinking patterns but were less likely to have the intermediate level of alcohol intake compared to non-cancer individuals. Alcohol intake may enhance cancer progression, interfere with cancer treatments and increase cancer-related mortality. To improve cancer survivors' health, custom alcohol interventions and cessation programs should be conducted to minimize alcohol intake for cancer survivors, especially for excessive alcohol drinkers.

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