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.

 

 

BACKGROUND: The magnitude of risk of injury from drinking, based on emergency department (ED) studies, has been found to vary considerably across studies, and the impact of study design on this variation is unknown. METHODS: Patients were interviewed regarding drinking within 6 hours prior to the injury or illness event, drinking during the same time the previous week, and usual drinking during the last 30 days. Risk estimates were derived from case-control analysis and from both pair-matched and usual frequency case-crossover analysis. RESULTS: The odds ratio (OR) based on case-control (2.7; 1.9 to 3.8) was larger than that based on pair-matched case-crossover analysis (1.6; 1.0 to 2.6). The control-crossover estimate suggested the case-crossover estimate was an underestimate of risk, and…
Many policy measures to control the obesity epidemic assume that people consciously and rationally choose what and how much they eat and therefore focus on providing information and more access to healthier foods. In contrast, many regulations that do not assume people make rational choices have been successfully applied to control alcohol, a substance - like food - of which immoderate consumption leads to serious health problems. Alcohol-use control policies restrict where, when, and by whom alcohol can be purchased and used. Access, salience, and impulsive drinking behaviors are addressed with regulations including alcohol outlet density limits, constraints on retail displays of alcoholic beverages, and restrictions on drink "specials." We discuss 5 regulations that are effective in reducing drinking and…
Alcohol consumption and its association with health or illness states are of great interest from the nutritional genomics point of view. This interest is centered not only on investigating the genetic variants that can modulate the effects of alcoholic beverages on different intermediate and final disease phenotypes (mainly cardiovascular diseases and cancer), but also on finding out how the genome influences the amount of alcohol consumed and consumption habits. This chapter reviews the latest findings on alcohol consumption trends, the methodological limitations in the analysis of alcohol consumption, and the main genes and polymorphisms related to alcohol intake, including the inconsistent results from genome-wide association studies (GWASs). It also reviews the effects of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular diseases and cancer…
Background Reduced heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of cardiac autonomic dysfunction, is a risk factor for coronary artery disease. Diet can influence HRV, but this association may be confounded by genetic and environmental factors. Methods and Results We administered the Willett Food Frequency Questionnaire to 276 middle-aged male twins. We derived a score measuring the extent to which an individual's diet conformed to the Mediterranean diet following a published algorithm. The higher the score, the greater the similarity to the Mediterranean diet. All twins underwent 24-hour ambulatory ECG recording. Time and frequency domain measures of HRV were calculated. Mixed-effects regression was used to partition the association into between- and within-twin pair differences. After adjusting for energy intake, other nutritional…
BACKGROUND--The Lyon Diet Heart Study is a randomized secondary prevention trial aimed at testing whether a Mediterranean-type diet may reduce the rate of recurrence after a first myocardial infarction. An intermediate analysis showed a striking protective effect after 27 months of follow-up. This report presents results of an extended follow- up (with a mean of 46 months per patient) and deals with the relationships of dietary patterns and traditional risk factors with recurrence. METHODS AND RESULTS--Three composite outcomes (COs) combining either cardiac death and nonfatal myocardial infarction (CO 1), or the preceding plus major secondary end points (unstable angina, stroke, heart failure, pulmonary or peripheral embolism) (CO 2), or the preceding plus minor events requiring hospital admission (CO 3) were…
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