04 May 2020 In Liver Disease

Background/Aims: Multiple meta-analyses and observational studies have reported that alcohol is a risk factor for liver cancer. However, whether there is a safe level of alcohol consumption remains unclear. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the correlation between low-level alcohol consumption and the risk of liver cancer.

Methods: Nested case-control studies and cohort studies involving the general population published prior to July 2019 were searched. In total, 28 publications (31 cohorts) with 4,899 incident cases and 10,859 liver cancer-related deaths were included. The pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.

Results: Compared with those with low levels of alcohol consumption, moderate and heavy drinkers (>/=1 drink/day for females and >/=2 drinks/day for males) had pooled ORs of 1.418 (95% CI, 1.192 to 1.687; p<0.001) for liver cancer incidence and 1.167 (95% CI, 1.056 to 1.290; p=0.003) for liver cancer mortality. The pooled OR for liver disease-related mortality for those with more than low levels of alcohol consumption was 3.220 (95% CI, 2.116 to 4.898; p<0.001) and that for all-cause mortality was 1.166 (95% CI, 1.065 to 1.278; p=0.001). The sensitivity analysis showed that none of the studies had a strong effect on the pooled OR. The Egger test, Begg rank correlation test, and the funnel plot showed no overt indication of publication bias.

Conclusions: Continuous consumption of more than a low-level of alcohol (>/=1 drink/day for females and >/=2 drinks/day for males) is related to a higher risk of liver cancer.

04 May 2020 In General Health

Understanding how dietary nutrients modulate the gut microbiome is of great interest for the development of food products and eating patterns for combatting the global burden of non-communicable diseases.

In this narrative review we assess scientific studies published from 2005 to 2019 that evaluated the effect of micro- and macro-nutrients on the composition of the gut microbiome using in vitro and in vivo models, and human clinical trials. The clinical evidence for micronutrients is less clear and generally lacking.

However, preclinical evidence suggests that red wine- and tea-derived polyphenols and vitamin D can modulate potentially beneficial bacteria. Current research shows consistent clinical evidence that dietary fibers, including arabinoxylans, galacto-oligosaccharides, inulin, and oligofructose, promote a range of beneficial bacteria and suppress potentially detrimental species.

The preclinical evidence suggests that both the quantity and type of fat modulate both beneficial and potentially detrimental microbes, as well as the Firmicutes/Bacteroides ratio in the gut. Clinical and preclinical studies suggest that the type and amount of proteins in the diet has substantial and differential effects on the gut microbiota.

Further clinical investigation of the effect of micronutrients and macronutrients on the microbiome and metabolome is warranted, along with understanding how this influences host health.

04 May 2020 In General Health

Cancer is a major contributing cause of morbidity and mortality in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The aim of the current study was to estimate the cancer burden attributable to major lifestyle and environmental risk factors.

We used age-, sex- and site-specific incidence estimates for 2012 from IARC's GLOBOCAN, and assessed the following risk factors: smoking, alcohol, high body mass index, insufficient physical activity, diet, suboptimal breastfeeding, infections and air pollution. The prevalence of exposure to these risk factors came from different sources including peer-reviewed international literature, the World Health Organization, noncommunicable disease Risk Factor Collaboration, and the Food and Agriculture Organization. Sex-specific population-attributable fraction was estimated in the 22 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region based on the prevalence of the selected risk factors and the relative risks obtained from meta-analyses. We estimated that approximately 33% (or 165,000 cases) of all new cancer cases in adults aged 30 years and older in 2012 were attributable to all selected risk factors combined.

Infections and smoking accounted for more than half of the total attributable cases among men, while insufficient physical activity and exposure to infections accounted for more than two-thirds of the total attributable cases among women. A reduction in exposure to major lifestyle and environmental risk factors could prevent a substantial number of cancer cases in the Eastern Mediterranean. Population-based programs preventing infections and smoking (particularly among men) and promoting physical activity (particularly among women) in the population are needed to effectively decrease the regional cancer burden.

04 May 2020 In General Health

Importance: It is well established that selected lifestyle factors are individually associated with lower risk of chronic diseases, but how combinations of these factors are associated with disease-free life-years is unknown.

Objective: To estimate the association between healthy lifestyle and the number of disease-free life-years.

Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective multicohort study, including 12 European studies as part of the Individual-Participant-Data Meta-analysis in Working Populations Consortium, was performed. Participants included 116043 people free of major noncommunicable disease at baseline from August 7, 1991, to May 31, 2006. Data analysis was conducted from May 22, 2018, to January 21, 2020.

Exposures: Four baseline lifestyle factors (smoking, body mass index, physical activity, and alcohol consumption) were each allocated a score based on risk status: optimal (2 points), intermediate (1 point), or poor (0 points) resulting in an aggregated lifestyle score ranging from 0 (worst) to 8 (best). Sixteen lifestyle profiles were constructed from combinations of these risk factors.

Main Outcomes and Measures: The number of years between ages 40 and 75 years without chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Results: Of the 116043 people included in the analysis, the mean (SD) age was 43.7 (10.1) years and 70911 were women (61.1%). During 1.45 million person-years at risk (mean follow-up, 12.5 years; range, 4.9-18.6 years), 17383 participants developed at least 1 chronic disease. There was a linear association between overall healthy lifestyle score and the number of disease-free years, such that a 1-point improvement in the score was associated with an increase of 0.96 (95% CI, 0.83-1.08) disease-free years in men and 0.89 (95% CI, 0.75-1.02) years in women. Comparing the best lifestyle score with the worst lifestyle score was associated with 9.9 (95% CI 6.7-13.1) additional years without chronic diseases in men and 9.4 (95% CI 5.4-13.3) additional years in women (P < .001 for dose-response). All of the 4 lifestyle profiles that were associated with the highest number of disease-free years included a body-mass index less than 25 (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) and at least 2 of the following factors: never smoking, physical activity, and moderate alcohol consumption. Participants with 1 of these lifestyle profiles reached age 70.3 (95% CI, 69.9-70.8) to 71.4 (95% CI, 70.9-72.0) years disease free depending on the profile and sex.

Conclusions and Relevance: In this multicohort analysis, various healthy lifestyle profiles appeared to be associated with gains in life-years without major chronic diseases.

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