17 November 2021 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: In many countries, lockdown measures were implemented to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation may have an impact on mental health, tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption. The aim of this research report is therefore to describe changes in tobacco and alcohol consumption in the general French population during the first 2 weeks of lockdown and identify any associated factors.

METHODS: Self-reported changes in smoking and alcohol consumption following the lockdown implemented in France on 17 March 2020 were collected from 2003 respondents aged 18 years and older in an online cross-sectional survey carried out from 30 March to 1 April 2020. Anxiety and depression levels were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

RESULTS: Among current smokers, 26.7% reported an increase in their tobacco consumption since lockdown and 18.6% reported a decrease, while it remained stable for 54.7%. The increase in tobacco consumption was associated with an age of 18-34 years, a high level of education, and anxiety. Among alcohol drinkers, 10.7% reported an increase in their alcohol consumption since lockdown and 24.4% reported a decrease, while it remained stable for 64.8%. The increase in alcohol consumption was associated with an age of 18-49 years, living in cities of more than 100 000 inhabitants, a high socio-professional category, and a depressive mood.

CONCLUSIONS: The national lockdown implemented in France during the COVID-19 pandemic influenced tobacco and alcohol consumption in different ways according to sociodemographic group and mental health.

26 May 2021 In General Health
Little is known about possible changes in alcohol consumption distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. We estimated how individual changes in alcohol consumption during the pandemic translated into changes in: (i) mean consumption; (ii) dispersion of consumption distribution; and (iii) prevalence of heavy drinkers. We employed data from two independent web-surveys of Norwegian adults collected between April and July 2020 and limited to those reporting past year alcohol consumption (N1 = 15,267, N2 = 1195). Self-reports of changes in drinking behavior were quantified, assuming change being relative to baseline consumption level. During the pandemic, we found a small increase (Survey 1) or no change (Survey 2) in estimated mean alcohol consumption (which parallels to total consumption). However, in both surveys, the dispersion of the distribution increased significantly (p
21 April 2021 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Most studies assess the relationship between alcohol and stroke at some point. Little is known about the effect on stroke of drinking status changes over time. This study aimed to examine the association of median 2.4-year drinking status changes with risk of stroke.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined 22,691 adults from rural China. Drinking status was assessed at 2004-2006 and in 2008. Participants were divided into four change patterns: consistent non-drinkers, abstainers, starters, and consistent drinkers. A Cox proportional hazards model were performed. We observed 1215 cases of stroke during a median follow-up period of 11.8 years. A faint J-shaped association between alcohol consumption and risk of stroke was found in this population. Based on the amount of alcohol consumption, only current drinkers with >/=721 g/week at baseline in both males and females had a higher risk of stroke [hazard ratio (HR): 1.342; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.070-1.683 and HR: 2.130; CI: 1.041-4.357, respectively]. Based on change patterns, Compared with consistent non-drinkers, the HR (95% CI) for consistent drinkers, abstainers and starters was 1.298 (1.070-1.576), 1.093 (0.877-1.362) and 1.263 (1.034-1.543), respectively. The same trend was observed in male. The HR (95% CI) for consistent drinkers, abstainers and starters was 1.360 (1.098-1.685), 1.139 (0.883-1.470) and 1.364 (1.092-1.703), respectively. No difference was observed in females.

CONCLUSION: High alcohol consumption was associated with increased risk of stroke in both males and females. However, based on change patterns, consistent drinkers and starters were at higher risk of stroke only in males.

24 March 2021 In Dementia
Objectives: Alcohol use remains a public health concern with accumulating evidence pointing to alcohol-associated prospective memory (PM) deficits. PM is the cognitive ability to remember to perform an intended action at some point in the future. Following PRISMA guidelines, we searched the evidence base to identify and explore the evidence of a relationship between alcohol use and PM. Methods: We conducted a systematic literature search in Medline, Embase, Pubmed, CINAHL, PsycINFO and Web of Science databases. Studies were included if they met the following criteria: English language publication, healthy adult participants (16 years and over), primary data on the effects of alcohol on PM. Results: Eight peer-reviewed studies were eligible for inclusion, of which five were randomized controlled trials examining the acute effects of a mild dose of alcohol and three were cross-sectional studies assessing the long-term effects of different drinking patterns on PM. Four main findings were supported by the literature: (1) compared with placebo, an acute administration of a mild alcohol dose to healthy social drinkers may lead to poorer PM performance, (2) alcohol consumption over the recommended weekly units can be associated with impaired PM function, (3) other cognitive domains can play a contributing role in alcohol-induced PM impairment, and (4) following future event simulation alcohol-induced PM impairment may be improved. Conclusion: Alcohol consumption potentially impairs PM, even at a low modest dose. Considering the small number of studies and their methodological flaws, additional research is needed to decipher the alcohol-PM relationship and provide further supporting evidence.
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