06 September 2018 In General Health
The scarce research on the effects of moderate alcohol consumption on mental health among older adults suggests a protective effect against depression. We prospectively examined the association between patterns of moderate alcohol consumption, depression and psychological distress, using information from 5,299 community-dwelling older adults from the ELSA and Seniors-ENRICA cohorts. A Mediterranean drinking pattern (MDP) was defined as moderate alcohol intake (
27 July 2018 In Social and Cultural Aspects

Despite the pervasive use of social media by young adults, there is comparatively little known about whether, and how, engagement in social media influences this group's drinking patterns and risk of alcohol-related problems. We examined the relations between young adults' alcohol-related social media engagement (defined as the posting, liking, commenting, and viewing of alcohol-related social media content) and their drinking behavior and problems. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies evaluating the association of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems with alcohol-related social media engagement. Summary baseline variables regarding the social media platform used (e.g., Facebook and Twitter), social media measures assessed (e.g., number of alcohol photographs posted), alcohol measures (e.g., Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test and Timeline Follow back Interview), and the number of time points at which data were collected were extracted from each published study. We used the Q statistic to examine heterogeneity in the correlations between alcohol-related social media engagement and both drinking behavior and alcohol-related problems. Because there was significant heterogeneity, we used a random-effects model to evaluate the difference from zero of the weighted aggregate correlations. We used metaregression with study characteristics as moderators to test for moderators of the observed heterogeneity. Following screening, 19 articles met inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis. The primary findings indicated a statistically significant relationship and moderate effect sizes between alcohol-related social media engagement and both alcohol consumption (r = 0.36, 95% CI: 0.29 to 0.44, p < 0.001) and alcohol-related problems (r = 0.37, 95% CI: 0.21 to 0.51, p < 0.001). There was significant heterogeneity among studies. Two significant predictors of heterogeneity were (i) whether there was joint measurement of alcohol-related social media engagement and drinking behavior or these were measured on different occasions and (ii) whether measurements were taken by self-report or observation of social media engagement. We found moderate-sized effects across the 19 studies: Greater alcohol-related social media engagement was correlated with both greater self-reported drinking and alcohol-related problems. Further research to determine the causal direction of these associations could provide opportunities for social media-based interventions with young drinkers aimed at reducing alcohol consumption and alcohol-related adverse consequences.

27 July 2018 In Dementia

Background: The effect of alcohol consumption on cognitive decline is not clear. We aimed to study the association between alcohol consumption and cognitive functioning controlling for functional heath status.

Methods: A total of 1610 older adults with a score >/=26 on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) were followed to assess the change in scores at the 3-year follow-up. Information on alcohol consumption as well as socio-demographic, lifestyle, psychosocial and clinical factors, as well as health service use were assessed at baseline and 3-year follow-up interviews. Linear mixed models with repeated measures were used stratifying by functional status.

Results: Close to 73% reported consuming alcohol in the past 6 months, of which 11% were heavy drinkers (>/=11 and >/=16 drinks for women and men). A significant decrease in MMSE scores was observed in low functioning non-drinkers (-1.48; 95% CI: -2.06, -0.89) and light to moderate drinkers (-0.99; 95% CI: -1.54, -0.44) and high functioning non-drinkers (-0.51; 95% CI: -0.91, -0.10).

Conclusions: Alcohol consumption did not contribute to cognitive decline. Cognitive decline was greater in individuals reporting low functional status. Research should focus on the interaction between changing patterns of alcohol consumption and social participation in individuals with low and high functioning status.

27 July 2018 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Binge drinking prevalence rates are highest in young adults; however, little is known about the effects of binge drinking on blood pressure (BP) and other cardiovascular health metrics in individuals between 18 and 45 years of age. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of regular binge drinking on BP, lipid and glucose levels and to determine if there were differences in these associations between men and women.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We analyzed data from NHANES (the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) for men and women 18 to 45 years old who were non-binge drinkers, binge drank 1 to 12 times, or binge drank >12 times in the past year. After controlling for diet and physical activity, both categories of men binge drinkers compared with non-binge drinkers had higher systolic BP (121.8 and 119.0 mm Hg versus 117.5 mm Hg) and total cholesterol (215.5 and 217.9 mg/dL versus 207.8 mg/dL) values. There were no effects of binge drinking on systolic BP or total cholesterol in women. Binge drinking in men and women was associated with higher high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol values. The effects of binge drinking on glucose parameters in men and women were variable.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with young adult women, repeated binge drinking in men was associated with an elevated systolic BP, and greater frequency of binge drinking in men was associated with a more unfavorable lipid profile. In young adults with elevated systolic BP, practitioners should consider the possible role of binge drinking and address the importance of reducing alcohol intake as an important cardiovascular risk reduction strategy.

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