General Health

Moderate wine drinkers have a lower risk to die from any cause (lower total  mortality risk) than those who abstain or drink heavily. This widely accepted association is known as the J-curve. This J-curve is attributable to the beneficial effect on cardiovascular health which compensates the negative effects of some cancers resulting in a lower risk to die from any possible cause. The relative risk of dying is lowest among light to moderate drinkers and increased among abstainers. However, the risk increases dramatically with each drink above moderation. Thus, while one or two glasses can be considered “good for your health”, drinking more than what guidelines suggest will not provide more benefits, only more harm.

 

If consumed in excess, alcoholic beverages increase the exposure to a wide range of risk factors whereby the risk rises with the amount of alcohol consumed. Thus, it is crucial to prevent abusive consumption. Alcohol abuse is associated with a range of long-term chronic diseases that reduce the quality of life. These include hypertension, cardiovascular problems, cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol dependence, various forms of cancer, alcohol-related brain damage and a range of other problems. Not only the amount of alcohol but also the drinking patterns are important. Findings from a meta analysis support results from other studies that binge drinking is detrimental to heart health. The authors concluded that it is best for drinkers to avoid binge drinking -- not only because of the possible heart effects, but also because of more immediate risks, like accidents and violence.

 

In addition to health issues resulting from excessive alcohol consumption, there are social consequences, both for the drinker and for others in the community. The consequences include harm to family members (including children), to friends and colleagues as well as to bystanders and strangers.

 

The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.

 

 

AIMS: Alcohol use is associated with both positive and negative effects on individual cardiovascular risk factors, depending upon which risk factor is assessed. The present analysis uses a summative multisystem index of biologic risk, known as allostatic load (AL), to evaluate whether the overall balance of alcohol-associated positive and negative cardiovascular risk factors may be favorable or unfavorable. METHODS: This analysis included 1255 adults from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) biomarker substudy. Participants, average age 54.5 (+/-11) years, were divided into 6 alcohol-use categories based on self-reported drinking habits. Current non-drinkers were classified as lifelong abstainers and former light drinkers, former moderate drinkers, or former heavy drinkers. Current alcohol users were classified as light, moderate, or heavy drinkers.…
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between potentially serious alcohol-medication interactions (POSAMINO criteria), hypothesised to increase the risk of falls in older adults, and falls in community-dwelling older adults at two and 4 years follow-up. DESIGN: A prospective cohort study. SETTING: The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. SUBJECTS: A total of 1,457 community-dwelling older adults aged >/=65 years, with a complete alcohol and regular medication data to allow for the application of the POSAMINO criteria. OUTCOMES: Self-reported falls at 2 and 4 years follow-up, any falls (yes/no), injurious falls (yes/no) and number of falls (count variable). RESULTS: The number of participants who reported falling since their baseline interview at 2 and 4 years were 357 (24%) and 608 (41.8%), respectively; 145…
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 (
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To examine outstanding issues in the relationship of alcohol to hypertension. These include whether the increase in BP with alcohol is causally related, the nature of the relationship in women, the contribution of alcohol-related increases in BP to cardiovascular disease and the aetiology of alcohol-related hypertension. RECENT FINDINGS: Intervention studies and Mendelian randomisation analyses confirm the alcohol-BP relationship is causal. The concept that low-level alcohol intake reduces BP in women is increasingly unsustainable. Alcohol-related hypertension is in the causal pathway between alcohol use and increased risk for several cardiovascular outcomes. The aetiology of alcohol-related hypertension is multifactorial with recent data highlighting the effects of alcohol on the vasoconstrictor 20-HETE and oxidative stress. The high prevalence of both…
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