27 September 2019 In Cancer

Background: Alcohol intake is a leading modifiable cause related to cancer-specific deaths. Various alcohol intake patterns have shown to impact cancer progression differently, however, many studies only evaluated simplified patterns (such as heavy vs. non-heavy drinking) of alcohol intake for cancer survivors. The objective of this study is to provide population-based prevalence of the complex alcohol drinking patterns for cancer survivors, and compare it with that of non-cancer individuals. Additionally, we evaluated the impact of cancer related factors (binary, alcohol-related cancer type, and length of cancer history) to the alcohol intake patterns adjusted for the selected factors. Methods: A total of 193,197 individuals, including 16,504 cancer survivors, with age >/=18 years old in the 2012-2017 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were included in this study. The population-based prevalence of alcohol patterns was estimated. To evaluate cancer related factors associated with the alcohol intake patterns, we applied multinomial logistic models with the appropriate sampling weights and adjusted the selected demographic factors and smoking status. Results: There were 62.1% of cancer survivors and 66.0% of non-cancer individuals who were current alcohol drinkers in the past year. The prevalence of heavy drinking was identical for 5.2% of cancer and non-cancer individuals. For frequent binge drinking, cancer survivors tended to have less frequent binge than non-cancer individuals (2.8% vs. 4.9%). After adjusting for the selected demographic factors and smoking status, the cancer survivors were less likely to have the intermediate level of alcohol intake (light/moderate or occasional binge drinking) compared with non-cancer individuals, but no difference for the excessive alcohol intake (heavy or frequent binge drinking) was observed for those with and without cancer. As for cancer type, those with non-alcohol related cancer tended to be a current drinker compared with those with alcohol-related cancer. Compared with cancer survivors with a short cancer history (2-4 years), survivors with a cancer history of 5-9 years were more likely to be current drinkers after adjusting for the selected factors. Cancer status, alcohol-related cancer type and length of cancer history had no impact on excessive alcohol intake.

Conclusions: In summary, cancer survivors have similar excessive alcohol drinking patterns but were less likely to have the intermediate level of alcohol intake compared to non-cancer individuals. Alcohol intake may enhance cancer progression, interfere with cancer treatments and increase cancer-related mortality. To improve cancer survivors' health, custom alcohol interventions and cessation programs should be conducted to minimize alcohol intake for cancer survivors, especially for excessive alcohol drinkers.

12 August 2019 In Cancer

Background: Alcohol is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer because it induces hepatocellular carcinoma (among other cancers) in humans. An excessive alcohol intake may result in fatty liver, acute/chronic hepatitis, and cirrhosis and eventually lead to hepatocellular carcinoma. It has been reported that alcohol abuse increases the relative risk of hepatocellular carcinoma by 3- to 10-fold.

Aim and Methods: To clarify the known mechanisms of alcohol-related carcinogenesis, we searched Pubmed using the terms alcohol and immune mechanism, alcohol and cancer, and immune mechanism and cancer and summarized the articles as a qualitative review.

Results: From a clinical perspective, it is well known that alcohol interacts with other factors, such as smoking, viral hepatitis, and diabetes, leading to an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. There are several possible mechanisms through which alcohol may induce liver carcinogenicity, including the mutagenic effects of acetaldehyde and the production of ROS due to the excessive hepatic deposition of iron. Furthermore, it has been reported that alcohol accelerates hepatitis C virus-induced liver tumorigenesis through TLR4 signaling. Despite intense investigations to elucidate the mechanisms, they remain poorly understood.

Conclusion: This review summarizes the recent findings of clinical and pathological studies that have investigated the carcinogenic effects of alcohol in the liver.

12 August 2019 In Diabetes

OBJECTIVE: To summarise the evidence of associations between dietary factors and incidence of type 2 diabetes and to evaluate the strength and validity of these associations.

DESIGN: Umbrella review of systematic reviews with meta-analyses of prospective observational studies.

DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase, searched up to August 2018.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Systematic reviews with meta-analyses reporting summary risk estimates for the associations between incidence of type 2 diabetes and dietary behaviours or diet quality indices, food groups, foods, beverages, alcoholic beverages, macronutrients, and micronutrients.

RESULTS: 53 publications were included, with 153 adjusted summary hazard ratios on dietary behaviours or diet quality indices (n=12), food groups and foods (n=56), beverages (n=10), alcoholic beverages (n=12), macronutrients (n=32), and micronutrients (n=31), regarding incidence of type 2 diabetes. Methodological quality was high for 75% (n=115) of meta-analyses, moderate for 23% (n=35), and low for 2% (n=3). Quality of evidence was rated high for an inverse association for type 2 diabetes incidence with increased intake of whole grains (for an increment of 30 g/day, adjusted summary hazard ratio 0.87 (95% confidence interval 0.82 to 0.93)) and cereal fibre (for an increment of 10 g/day, 0.75 (0.65 to 0.86)), as well as for moderate intake of total alcohol (for an intake of 12-24 g/day v no consumption, 0.75 (0.67 to 0.83)). Quality of evidence was also high for the association for increased incidence of type 2 diabetes with higher intake of red meat (for an increment of 100 g/day, 1.17 (1.08 to 1.26)), processed meat (for an increment of 50 g/day, 1.37 (1.22 to 1.54)), bacon (per two slices/day, 2.07 (1.40 to 3.05)), and sugar sweetened beverages (for an increase of one serving/day, 1.26 (1.11 to 1.43)).

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the association between dietary factors and type 2 diabetes has been extensively studied, but few of the associations were graded as high quality of evidence. Further factors are likely to be important in type 2 diabetes prevention; thus, more well conducted research, with more detailed assessment of diet, is needed.

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42018088106.

12 August 2019 In General Health

AIMS: To review the effectiveness of workplace interventions in reducing alcohol consumption among employees.

METHODS: Systematic search of science databases from inception till May 2018 for trials where an intervention was tested against a control and data presented as amount of alcohol consumed per week. Quality of trials was assessed by Cochrane risk of bias tool. Meta-analysis was performed with random-effects model and pooled mean difference (MD) was reported with 95% confidence interval. Publication bias was assessed using Egger's test.

RESULTS: Seven trials with 1291 participants could be included. No outcome assessments were blinded. There was positive effect of workplace intervention on reduction of alcohol consumption with pooled MD of -2.25 [95% CI: -4.20 to -0.30]. The effect was only seen where subjects had a baseline alcohol consumption of over 15 standard drinks per week. There was no heterogeneity across the trials (I2=0%). Funnel plot was symmetrical shaped and Egger's test confirmed that there was no publication bias. Two studies found no advantages to intervention on differences on the AUDIT test.

CONCLUSION: There is weak evidence for workplace interventions (varying modes) as a way of facilitating reduction in the consumption of alcohol among employees but only among the heavier consumers.

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