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.



There has been lack of studies that investigate the causal impact of alcohol consumption on health and mortality in middle-aged and older populations in China. This cohort study aims to investigate whether alcohol use increases poor health and mortality risk in middle-aged and older Chinese population. The study is a cohort study design that was based on the China Health and Retired Longitudinal study (CHARLS). Measures of poor health and alcohol use are self-rated poor/very poor and alcohol use. Competing Cox proportional hazard regression model (CPHM) was used to model the data and the hazards ratio (HR) of poor health, mortality for current and former drinkers versus nondrinkers and current drinkers versus former drinkers was estimated using CPHM after adjusting…
PURPOSE: To perform a systematic review on the association between alcohol consumption and risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) using a meta-analytical approach. METHODS: Systematic literature research was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Both categorical and dose-response meta-analysis was performed separately for early and late AMD. A fixed-effect model was used to calculate pooled effect estimates with 95% confidence interval (CI). RESULT: Seven studies were included in the analysis with 4,566 and 440 cases of early and late AMD, respectively. Compared to the nondrinkers or occasional drinkers, the pooled effect estimates for early AMD with moderate (1.19, 95% CI [1.03-1.37]) and heavy (1.24, [1.10-1.39]) alcohol consumption, but not light (0.95, [0.90-1.06]) alcohol…
OBJECTIVE: Several, but not all studies, have shown a dose-dependent inverse association with alcohol consumption and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), whereas smoking is an established risk factor for RA. We aimed to study the association between alcohol consumption and RA incidence and investigate a potential interaction between alcohol and smoking habits, regarding RA incidence. METHODS: We used a prospective cohort study, based on 41 068 participants with detailed assessment of alcohol intake, smoking and potential confounders at baseline in 1997. We ascertained a total of 577 incident cases of RA during a mean of 17.7 years of follow-up through linkage to nationwide and essentially complete databases. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate HR with 95% CI. Interaction on…
Our objective was to investigate longitudinal associations between alcohol drinking and body mass index (BMI). Alcohol drinking (exposure), BMI (outcome), smoking habit, occupation, longstanding illness, and leisure time physical activity (potential confounders) were assessed at ages 30, 34, 42, and 46 in the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study. Multilevel models were used to cope with the problem of correlated observations. There were 15,708 observations in 5931 men and 14,077 observations in 5656 women. Drinking was associated with BMI in men. According to the regression coefficients, BMI was expected to increase by 0.36 (95% confidence interval: 0.11, 0.60) kg/m(2) per year in men who drank once a week and by 0.40 (0.14, 0.15) kg/m(2) per year in men who drank most…
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Certain lifestyle behaviours may have a protective effect against low-grade systemic inflammation, which is linked to chronic disease. Our objective was to examine associations between a five-component protective lifestyle behaviour (PLB) score and a range of pro-inflammatory cytokines, adipocytokines, acute-phase response proteins, coagulation factors and white blood cells. SUBJECTS/METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of 2045 middle-to-older aged men and women. Low-risk behaviours included never smoking, moderate alcohol intake, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, a high-quality diet (upper 40% Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension score) and a normal body mass index (BMI) (18.5-24.9 kg/m(2)). Linear and logistic regression analyses tested individual protective behaviour and PLB score associations with biomarkers. RESULTS: Analysis of individual low-risk behaviours revealed varied associations depending on the…
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