30 April 2019 In Social and Cultural Aspects

BACKGROUND: The 2010 World Health Organization Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol recommends countries adopt evidence-based interventions.

AIM: To update, summarize, and appraise the methodological rigour of systematic reviews of selected alcohol control interventions in the Strategy.

METHODS: We searched for systematic reviews across PUBMED, EMBase and The Cochrane Library in 2016 and updated in 2017 with no language limits. Two investigators independently in duplicate conducted screening, eligibility, data extraction, and quality assessment using the ROBIS tool. We categorised interventions according to the WHO recommendations, and rated reviews as at high, low or unclear risk of bias. We applied a hierarchical approach to summarising review results. Where overlap existed we report results of high quality reviews and if none existed, by most recent date of publication. We integrated the ROBIS rating with the results to produce a benefit indication.

RESULTS: We identified 42 systematic reviews from 5,282 records. Almost all eligible reviews were published in English, one in German and one in Portuguese. Most reviews identified only observational studies (74%; 31/42) with no studies from low or lower-middle income (LMIC) countries. Ten reviews were rated as low risk of bias. Methodological deficiencies included publication and language limits, no duplicate assessment, no assessment of study quality, and no integration of quality into result interpretation. We evaluated the following control measures as possibly beneficial: 1) community mobilization; 2) multi-component interventions in the drinking environment; 3) restricting alcohol advertising; 4) restricting on- and off-premise outlet density; 5) police patrols and ignition locks to reduce drink driving; and 6) increased price and taxation including minimum unit pricing.

CONCLUSIONS: Robust and well-reported research synthesis is deficient in the alcohol control field despite the availability of clear methodological guidance. The lack of primary and synthesis research arising from LMIC should be prioritised globally.

30 April 2019 In General Health

There is much literature on the topic of wine and health dating back to the days of Hippocrates, and it is believed that there are unlimited varieties of wine, allowing the association of senses, nutrition, and hedonism [...].

30 April 2019 In General Health

PURPOSE: To provide evidence of the relationship of Mediterranean diet (MD) on incidence/mortality for cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary/ischemic heart disease (CHD)/acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke (ischemic/hemorrhagic) by sex, geographic region, study design and type of MD score (MDS).

METHODS: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Pooled relative risks (RRs) were calculated using random-effects models.

RESULTS: We identified 29 articles. The RR for the highest versus the lowest category of the MDS was 0.81 (95% CI 0.74-0.88) for the 11 studies that considered unspecified CVD, consistent across all strata. The corresponding pooled RR for CHD/AMI risk was 0.70 (95% CI 0.62-0.80), based on 11 studies. The inverse relationship was consistent across strata of study design, end point (incidence and mortality), sex, geographic area, and the MDS used. The overall RR for the six studies that considered unspecified stroke was 0.73 (95% CI 0.59-0.91) for the highest versus the lowest category of the MDS. The corresponding values were 0.82 (95% CI 0.73-0.92) for ischemic (five studies) and 1.01 (95% CI 0.74-1.37) for hemorrhagic stroke (four studies).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate and further quantify that MD exerts a protective effect on the risk of CVD. This inverse association includes CHD and ischemic stroke, but apparently not hemorrhagic stroke.

30 April 2019 In General Health

The scientific evidence available on the association between moderate alcohol intake and levels of blood cardiometabolic markers is still inconsistent and difficult to interpret for future disease prevention. However, we hypothesize that moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with lower levels of inflammation markers and higher levels of protective cardiometabolic markers. Thus, this work aimed to examine the associations of moderate alcohol intake and the type of alcoholic beverage with metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers. An observational, cross-sectional study including 143 apparently healthy adults 55years of age and older was performed. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were used to collect information on alcoholic beverage intake frequency, food frequency, physical activity, socioeconomic status, diseases and medications, and other health-related habits. Three groups were established prior to recruitment: (1) abstainers and occasional consumers (ABS, n=54); (2) beer consumers (BEER >/=80% of total alcohol intake; n=40), and (3) mixed beverage consumers (MIXED; n=49). Univariate analysis of variance models, adjusted for confounding factors and covariables, were performed. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) and sP-selectin were significantly higher in the MIXED group than in the ABS group, and adiponectin was higher in the MIXED group compared to the BEER group. All alcohol consumers also had higher mean platelet volume values compared to ABS. In linear regression analyses, HDL-c, sP-selectin, and adiponectin were positively associated with wine intake (g/d) (P<.001, P=.014, and P=.017, respectively); and mean platelet volume, with beer intake (P=.017). In conclusion, this cross-sectional study showed that moderate alcohol intake is associated with higher levels of HDL-c and adiponectin compared to those in abstainers, which are mainly explained by wine intake.

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