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.

 

 

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…
AIMS: Alcohol is an important risk factor for morbidity and mortality, especially within the European region. Differences in per capita consumption and drinking patterns are possible reasons for regional differences and diverging trends in alcohol-related health outcomes. METHODS: Twenty-nine countries within the World Health Organization (WHO) European region were evaluated for trends and predictions in alcohol-related deaths within the last four decades using data available from the WHO Health for All database. RESULTS: Between 1979 and 2015, age-standardised death rates due to selected alcohol-related causes decreased significantly for both sexes in all assessed countries of the WHO European region, but regional differences are still pronounced. Assuming a similar trend in the future, the model predicted a further decrease until the…
Alcohol consumption is a significant public health issue worldwide. The rat model and epidemiological studies have both reported conflicting results about the effects of alcohol on the kidneys. We aimed to explore the relationships between alcohol consumption and chronic kidney disease. Data from the National Health Interview Survey, the National Health Insurance research database, and the National Deaths Dataset were used. Standardized in-person interviews were executed in 2001, 2005, and 2009 to obtain the demographic characteristics of study population. The participants were followed up until 2013. The primary outcome was new-onset chronic kidney disease. We analyzed 45,200 adults older than 18 years (50.8% men and 49.2% women), and the overall mean (SD) age was 42.73 (16.64) years. During the 8.5…
BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption in later life has increased in the past decade, and the relationship between alcohol consumption and mortality is controversial. Recent studies suggest little, if any, health benefit to alcohol. Yet most rely on single-time point consumption assessments and minimal confounder adjustments. METHODS: We report on 16 years of follow-up from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) cohorts born 1931 to 1941 (N = 7,904, baseline mean age = 61, SD = 3.18). Respondents were queried about drinking frequency/quantity. Mortality was established via exit interviews and confirmed with the national death index. Time-varying confounders included but were not limited to household assets, smoking, body mass index, health/functioning, depression, chronic disease; time-invariant confounders included baseline age, education, sex, and…
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