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.

 

 

Context:Low overnight urinary melatonin metabolite concentrations have been associated with increased risk for breast cancer among postmenopausal women. The Postmenopausal Women's Alcohol Study was a controlled feeding study to test the effects of low to moderate alcohol intake on potential risk factors for breast cancer including serum and urinary levels of hormones and other biomarkers. Previously, we observed significant increases in concentrations of serum estrone sulfate and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in participants after consumption of 15 or 30 g (one or two drinks) of alcohol per day.Objective:In the present analysis, we evaluated the relationship of alcohol consumption with 24-h urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (6-SMT) concentration (micrograms per 24 h).Design and Participants:Healthy postmenopausal women (n = 51) consumed a controlled diet plus each of…
IMPORTANCE Alcohol consumption may be a modifiable lifestyle factor that affects the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). Results of previous studies have been inconsistent. OBJECTIVE To investigate the possible association of alcohol consumption with the risk of developing MS and to relate the influence of alcohol to the effect of smoking. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This report is based on 2 case-control studies: Epidemiological Investigation of Multiple Sclerosis (EIMS) included 745 cases and 1761 controls recruited from April 2005 to June 2011, and Genes and Environment in Multiple Sclerosis (GEMS) recruited 5874 cases and 5246 controls between November 2009 and November 2011. All cases fulfilled the McDonald criteria. Both EIMS and GEMS are population-based studies of the Swedish population…
Classically, disorders associated with 'alcohol-related brain damage' (ARBD) occur as a result of chronic excessive alcohol misuse and confer significant physical and psychological disability to the individual as well as to the community. These phenotypes are often difficult to detect at early stages and therefore early intervention and treatment is limited. It remains unresolved as to whether there are neurobiological markers of the early stages of such brain damage in young 'at-risk' drinkers, who probably experience 'alcohol-induced brain impairment' prior to the onset of ARBD, per se. This review focuses on neurobiological (in particular, neuropsychological and neuroimaging) markers that are associated with alcohol misuse in young people (13-24 years of age). The findings from this review suggest that a clearer…
Although the association between alcohol and pancreatic diseases has been recognized for a long time, the impact of alcohol consumption on pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer (PC) remains poorly defined. Nowadays there is not consensus about the epidemiology and the beverage type, dose and duration of alcohol consumption causing these diseases. The objective of this study was to review the epidemiology described in the literature for pancreatic diseases as a consequence of alcoholic behavior trying to understand the association between dose, type and frequency of alcohol consumption and risk of pancreatitis and PC. The majority of the studies conclude that high alcohol intake was associated with a higher risk of pancreatitis (around 2.5%-3% between heavy drinkers and 1.3% between non drinkers).…
BACKGROUND: We examined the effect of a large reduction in the price of alcohol that occurred in Finland in 2004 on alcohol-related and all-cause mortality, and mortality due to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) from which alcohol-attributable cases were excluded. METHODS: Time series intervention analysis modelling was applied to the monthly aggregations of deaths in Finland for the period 1996-2006 to assess the impact of the reduction in alcohol prices. Alcohol-related mortality was defined using information on both underlying and contributory causes of death. Analyses were carried out for men and women aged 15-39, 40-49, 50-69 and >69 years. RESULTS: Alcohol-related deaths increased in men aged 40-49 years, and in men and women aged 50-69 years, after the price reduction when trends…
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