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.

 

 

Little evidence exists regarding associations between age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and moderate alcohol consumption, patterns of consumption, or different types of alcoholic beverage. The authors examined associations between AMD prevalence and alcohol intake using 20,963 participants from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study aged 40-69 years at baseline (1990-1994). Participants' alcohol consumption was determined from a structured interview at baseline. At follow-up from 2003 to 2007, digital macula photographs of both eyes were taken and evaluated for early and late AMD signs. Drinking more than 20 g of alcohol per day was associated with an approximate 20% increase in the odds of early AMD (odds ratio = 1.21, 95% confidence interval: 1.06, 1.38; P = 0.004) when compared with those who…
Whereas moderate drinking may have health benefits, excessive alcohol consumption causes many important acute and chronic diseases and is the third leading contributor to preventable death in the United States. Twin studies suggest that alcohol-consumption patterns are heritable (50%); however, multiple genetic variants of modest effect size are likely to contribute to this heritable variation. Genome-wide association studies provide a tool for discovering genetic loci that contribute to variations in alcohol consumption. Opportunities exist to identify susceptibility loci with modest effect by meta-analyzing together multiple studies. However, existing studies assessed many different aspects of alcohol use, such as typical compared with heavy drinking, and these different assessments can be difficult to reconcile. In addition, many studies lack the ability to…
OBJECTIVE: To describe the association between alcohol beverage preference and dietary habits comparing wine drinkers with other alcoholic beverage drinkers and with nondrinkers in Spanish university graduates. SUBJECTS: A total of 10 526 men and women, who were recruited using mailed questionnaires, participated in this study. METHODS: A semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire previously validated in Spain was used together with other questionnaires designed to collect lifestyle characteristics. RESULTS: Wine drinkers reported higher intake of fibre and olive oil, and lower consumption of fat (only men), dairy products, sugared soda drinks and fast food as compared with other alcoholic beverage groups and nondrinkers. Men nondrinkers were more likely to be physically active during their leisure time than wine drinkers. No relevant…
OBJECTIVE: Assessment of relation between metabolic syndrome (MS) and Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. ATP III definition of MS was used. Adherence to MD was assessed with a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Intakes of cereal, fruit, legumes, vegetables, fish, nuts, monounsaturated to saturated ratio, alcohol from red wine, whole-fat dairy products and red meat were considered. SETTING: Representative sample of population from the Canary Islands (Spain) participating in the Canarian Nutrition Survey (ENCA). SUBJECTS: 578 adults>18 years. RESULTS: Of the subjects, 24.4% presented MS. Once adjusted, MD adherence was not related to MS prevalence, but subjects in the third tertile of adherence presented 70% lower prevalence of the blood pressure criteria and 2.5 times more prevalence of the glycaemia…
Alcohol, like mental health, is a neglected topic in public health discussions. However, it should be defined as a priority public health area because the evidence available to support this is very persuasive. Although only half the world's population drinks alcohol, it is the world's third leading cause of ill health and premature death, after low birth weight and unsafe sex, and the world's greatest cause of ill health and premature death among individuals between 25 and 59 years of age. This article aims to outline current global experiences with alcohol policies and suggests how to communicate better evidence-based policy responses to alcohol-related harm using narratives. The text summarizes 6 actions to provide incentives that would favor a healthier relationship…
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