22 September 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Previous studies exploring usual alcohol consumption and falls risk were scarce in China. In addition, the dose-response relationship has not been explored so far. This study aims to estimate the association between usual alcohol consumption and risk of falls among middle-aged and older Chinese adults based on data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), which is representative of the population of the entire country.

METHODS: Baseline survey data in 2015 and follow-up data in 2018 in CHARLS were utilized. Alcohol consumption was calculated in grams per day (gr/day) according to self-reported drinking data and categorized accordingly to The Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents (DGC) 2016. Fall was obtained from self-reported information. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate the association of usual alcohol consumption with risk of falling. The dose-response relationship was also explored using restricted cubic splines.

RESULTS: A total of 12,910 middle-aged and older participants were included from the CHARLS 2015, of which 11,667 were followed up in 2018. We found that former, moderate, and excessive drinkers were at higher fall risk compared to never drinkers (former: OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.05-1.46; moderate: OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.06-1.41; excessive: OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.15-1.61) in the longitudinal analysis. Similarly, individuals with moderate and excessive alcohol consumption were at increased risk of falling in the cross-sectional analysis (moderate: OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.02-1.37; excessive: OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.11,1.57). No significant increased risk of falls was found for former drinkers (former: OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.96-1.34). We observed a significant non-linear relationship.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that usual alcohol consumption was associated with a higher risk of falls, highlighting the key role of alcohol intake on the fall risk, which needed consideration in developing intervention and prevention strategies for reducing falls among middle-aged and older Chinese adults.

26 August 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: The health risks associated with moderate alcohol consumption continue to be debated. Small amounts of alcohol might lower the risk of some health outcomes but increase the risk of others, suggesting that the overall risk depends, in part, on background disease rates, which vary by region, age, sex, and year.

METHODS: For this analysis, we constructed burden-weighted dose-response relative risk curves across 22 health outcomes to estimate the theoretical minimum risk exposure level (TMREL) and non-drinker equivalence (NDE), the consumption level at which the health risk is equivalent to that of a non-drinker, using disease rates from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2020 for 21 regions, including 204 countries and territories, by 5-year age group, sex, and year for individuals aged 15-95 years and older from 1990 to 2020. Based on the NDE, we quantified the population consuming harmful amounts of alcohol.

FINDINGS: The burden-weighted relative risk curves for alcohol use varied by region and age. Among individuals aged 15-39 years in 2020, the TMREL varied between 0 (95% uncertainty interval 0-0) and 0·603 (0·400-1·00) standard drinks per day, and the NDE varied between 0·002 (0-0) and 1·75 (0·698-4·30) standard drinks per day. Among individuals aged 40 years and older, the burden-weighted relative risk curve was J-shaped for all regions, with a 2020 TMREL that ranged from 0·114 (0-0·403) to 1·87 (0·500-3·30) standard drinks per day and an NDE that ranged between 0·193 (0-0·900) and 6·94 (3·40-8·30) standard drinks per day. Among individuals consuming harmful amounts of alcohol in 2020, 59·1% (54·3-65·4) were aged 15-39 years and 76·9% (73·0-81·3) were male.

INTERPRETATION: There is strong evidence to support recommendations on alcohol consumption varying by age and location. Stronger interventions, particularly those tailored towards younger individuals, are needed to reduce the substantial global health loss attributable to alcohol. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

28 April 2022 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: Dementia indicates a significant disease burden worldwide with increased population aging. This study aimed to investigate the impact of alcohol consumption on the risk of cognitive impairment in older adults.

METHODS: Participants >/= 60 years were administered the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST) to evaluate cognitive function in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cycles from 1999 to 2002 and 2011 to 2014 for enrollment in the present study. Participants were categorized into non-drinker, drinker, and heavy drinker groups. Logistic regression analyses were performed to explore associations between cognitive impairment and alcohol consumption.

RESULTS: Multivariate analysis showed that older adults, men, people from minority races, persons with lower education or income levels, social difficulties, hypertension, or chronic kidney disease were significantly associated with a higher risk of cognitive impairment (all p < 0.05). In the young old (60-69 years), heavy amount of alcohol drinking was significantly associated with lower risk of cognitive impairment compared with drinkers [adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 0.280, 95% Confidence interval (CI) 0.095-0.826]. But in the middle old persons (>/= 70 years), heavy alcohol drinking was associated with higher risk of cognitive impairment (aOR: 2.929, 95% CI 0.624-13.74).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that light to heavy drinking was associated with lower risk of cognitive impairment in participants aged between 60 and 69 years, but caution is needed in the middle old people with heavy alcohol drinking.

28 April 2022 In Cardiovascular System

Based on a prospective cohort study of adults from southwest China with heterogeneity in their demographical characteristics and lifestyles, we aimed to explore the association between drinking patterns and incident hypertension under the interaction of these confounding factors. The Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate the hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).

Subgroup analysis was performed according to sex, ethnicity, area, occupation, smoking, and exercise to compare the differences in the association between drinking patterns and the incidence of hypertension. Blood pressure was higher in participants with a high drinking frequency than those with a low drinking frequency (p < 0.001). We found that total drinking frequency, liquor drinking frequency, rice wine drinking frequency, and alcohol consumption were significantly associated with an increased risk of hypertension.

Compared with the non-drinking group, a heavy drinking pattern was positively correlated with hypertension. Drinking can increase the risk of hypertension, especially heavy drinking patterns, with a high frequency of alcohol intake and high alcohol consumption. From the analysis results of the longitudinal data, drinking alcohol is still an important risk factor for hypertension among Chinese subjects, especially for men, the rural population, the employed, the Han nationality, smokers, and certain exercise populations.

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