24 October 2019 In Drinking Patterns

OBJECTIVES: To investigate how various alcohol-drinking behaviours are associated with sociodemographics, lifestyle factors and health status indicators in Brazil. STUDY DESIGN: This study is based on a household survey of 53,034 adults aged 18 + years from all 26 Brazilian capitals and the Federal District conducted in 2017.

METHODS: Sex-stratified relationships were modelled using logistic regressions and controlled for capital-specific effects. Main outcome measures included regular alcohol use, weekly alcohol use, heavy episodic drinking (HED), frequent HED and drinking and driving.

RESULTS: Overall (unadjusted) prevalence of regular alcohol consumption is 41%. Among drinkers, approximately 70% drink on a weekly basis, and 46% are heavy episodic drinkers. Among this latter group, close to 44% are frequent heavy episodic drinkers (i.e. at least four times in a month). Among regular drinkers who also are drivers, the prevalence of drinking and driving is 28%. These prevalences are considerably higher in men. The relationships investigated vary by drinking behaviour and sex, with some factors consistently associated with various behaviours, when present. Population (men or women) at greatest risk include (largely) younger individuals (up to 700% increase in odds) who are single or divorced, those who are less health conscious and watch television or use mobile devices during leisure time 4 + hours per day and do not have diabetes.

For drinking and driving, the additional risk factors include speeding behaviour, the use of mobile devices while driving and HED. Education, race/ethnicity and other health status indicators are differently associated with various drinking behaviours. For women, in particular, the results also show differences in odds of up to 360% and 1430% across cities for frequent HED and drinking and driving, respectively. Similarly, indigenous women are at greatest risk of weekly alcohol use and HED.

CONCLUSIONS: HED and drinking and driving are problematic, as the association with other factors suggests a clustering of risky behaviours that may exacerbate the consequences of drinking behaviours.

24 October 2019 In Drinking Patterns

AIM: To present a comparison between the effects on health due to a reduction in binge drinking (BD) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), as a result of ALERTA ALCOHOL, an intervention aimed at reducing BD in Spanish adolescents.

METHODS: A two-arm cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted with an intervention and a control group, randomized at the school level, following individuals over four months. The study population consisted of Andalusian adolescents aged 15 to 19 years who were enrolled in urban public high schools (n=1247). Participants were assigned randomly to receive the intervention. The main outcomes studied were the number of occasions of BD in the last 30 days, which was directly obtained from the answers given by the adolescents, and HRQoL measured with the EQ-5D-5L questionnaire. The model of estimation was the generalized estimating equations (GEE) approach.

RESULTS: The program showed a BD reduction at the 4-month follow-up, although it was not shown to significantly increase the HRQoL in adolescents who reduced the number of occasions of BD and had received the intervention. However, it was shown that those who would predictably reduce the number of occasions of BD controlled by several sociodemographic variables perceived a higher HRQoL, as did those who had a greater adherence to the program.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher adherence to a web-based computer-tailored intervention to prevent BD in adolescents has a positive effect on decreasing the number of occasions of BD in adolescents as well as on increasing participants' HRQoL, although this second effect is very small, which could be due to the short follow-up time. This fact is quite important and should be assessed extensively to corroborate the results and translate into health policy.

24 October 2019 In Dementia
Importance: Substantial heterogeneity and uncertainty exist in the observed associations between alcohol consumption and dementia. Objective: To assess the association between alcohol consumption and dementia and the roles of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and apolipoprotein E epsilon4 (APOE E4) genotype in modifying this association. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used data from the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory Study, conducted from 2000 to 2008 among US community-dwelling participants. This study analyzed 3021 participants aged 72 years and older who were free of dementia. Data analysis was performed from 2017 to 2018. Exposures: Self-reported alcohol consumption, drinking frequency, and quantity. Main Outcomes and Measures: Using multivariable proportional hazards regression and linear mixed models, the risk of dementia and the rate of change over time in the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination were estimated. Results: Among 3021 participants, the median (interquartile range) age was 78 (76-80) years; 1395 (46.2%) were female. During a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 6.0 (4.9-6.5) years, 512 cases of dementia occurred. For 7.1 to 14.0 drinks per week compared with less than 1.0 drink per week, the hazard ratios for dementia were 0.63 (95% CI, 0.38-1.06) among 2548 participants without MCI and 0.93 (95% CI, 0.47-1.84) among 473 participants with MCI. Among participants with MCI, the hazard ratio for dementia was 1.72 (95% CI, 0.87-3.40) for more than 14.0 drinks per week compared with less than 1.0 drink per week. The association of alcohol intake with dementia differed for participants with and without baseline MCI (P for interaction = .03). Among participants without MCI, daily low-quantity drinking was associated with lower dementia risk than infrequent higher-quantity drinking (hazard ratio, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.23-0.89; P = .02). Findings were consistent when stratified by sex, age, and APOE E4 genotype. Compared with drinking less than 1.0 drink per week, complete abstention (in participants without MCI) and the consumption of more than 14.0 drinks per week (in participants with MCI) were associated with lower Modified Mini-Mental State Examination scores (mean difference at follow-up compared with baseline, -0.46 point [95% CI, -0.87 to -0.04 point] and -3.51 points [95% CI, -5.75 to -1.27 points], respectively). Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, complete abstention and consuming more than 14.0 drinks per week (compared with drinking
24 October 2019 In Pregnant Women

OBJECTIVE: Alcohol use during pregnancy can harm the developing fetus. The exact amount, pattern, and critical period of exposure necessary for harm to occur are unclear, although official guidance often emphasizes precautionary abstention. The impacts on fertility and breastfeeding are also unclear. Information on alcohol and pregnancy is disseminated by the alcohol industry-funded organizations, and there are emerging concerns about its accuracy, suggesting the need for detailed analysis.

METHOD: Information on alcohol consumption in relation to fertility, pregnancy, and breastfeeding was extracted from the websites of 23 alcohol industry-funded bodies (e.g., Drinkaware [United Kingdom] and DrinkWise [Australia]), and 19 public health organizations (e.g., Health.gov and NHS Choices). Comparative qualitative and quantitative analysis of the framing and completeness of this information was undertaken.

RESULTS: Alcohol industry-funded organizations were statistically significantly less likely than public health websites to provide information on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and less likely to advise that no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. They were significantly more likely to emphasize uncertainties and less likely to use direct language (e.g., "don't drink"). Some alcohol industry-funded (and no public health) websites appear to use "alternate causation" arguments, similar to those used by the tobacco industry, to argue for causes of alcohol harms in pregnancy other than alcohol.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol industry-funded websites omit and misrepresent the evidence on key risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. This may "nudge" women toward continuing to drink during pregnancy. These findings suggest that alcohol industry-funded bodies may increase risk to pregnant women by disseminating misinformation. The public should be made widely aware of the risks of obtaining health information from alcohol industry-funded sources.

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