24 February 2016 In Cardiovascular System

INTRODUCTION: Health benefits of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption may operate through an improved lipid profile. A Mendelian randomization (MR) approach was used to examine whether alcohol consumption causally affects lipid levels.

METHODS: This analysis involved 10,893 European Americans (EA) from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Common and rare variants in alcohol dehydrogenase and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase genes were evaluated for MR assumptions. Five variants, residing in the ADH1B, ADH1C, and ADH4 genes, were selected as genetic instruments and were combined into an unweighted genetic score. Triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) and its subfractions (HDL2-c and HDL3-c), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c), small dense LDL-c (sdLDL-c), apolipoprotein B (apoB), and lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) levels were analyzed.

RESULTS: Alcohol consumption significantly increased HDL2-c and reduced TG, total cholesterol, LDL-c, sdLDL-c, and apoB levels. For each of these lipids a non-linear trend was observed. Compared to the first quartile of alcohol consumption, the third quartile had a 12.3% lower level of TG (p < 0.001), a 7.71 mg/dL lower level of total cholesterol (p = 0.007), a 10.3% higher level of HDL2-c (p = 0.007), a 6.87 mg/dL lower level of LDL-c (p = 0.012), a 7.4% lower level of sdLDL-c (p = 0.037), and a 3.5% lower level of apoB (p = 0.058, poverall = 0.022).

CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the causal role of regular low-to-moderate alcohol consumption in increasing HDL2-c, reducing TG, total cholesterol, and LDL-c, and provides evidence for the novel finding that low-to-moderate consumption of alcohol reduces apoB and sdLDL-c levels among EA. However, given the nonlinearity of the effect of alcohol consumption, even within the range of low-to-moderate drinking, increased consumption does not always result in a larger benefit.

27 January 2016 In Cardiovascular System

Mendelian randomisation studies from Asia suggest detrimental influences of alcohol on cardiovascular risk factors, but such associations are observed mainly in men. The absence of associations of genetic variants (e.g. rs671 in ALDH2) with such risk factors in women - who drank little in these populations - provides evidence that the observations are not due to genetic pleiotropy. Here, we present a Mendelian randomisation study in a South Korean population (3,365 men and 3,787 women) that 1) provides robust evidence that alcohol consumption adversely affects several cardiovascular disease risk factors, including blood pressure, waist to hip ratio, fasting blood glucose and triglyceride levels. Alcohol also increases HDL cholesterol and lowers LDL cholesterol. Our study also 2) replicates sex differences in associations which suggests pleiotropy does not underlie the associations, 3) provides further evidence that association is not due to pleiotropy by showing null effects in male non-drinkers, and 4) illustrates a way to measure population-level association where alcohol intake is stratified by sex. In conclusion, population-level instrumental variable estimation (utilizing interaction of rs671 in ALDH2 and sex as an instrument) strengthens causal inference regarding the largely adverse influence of alcohol intake on cardiovascular health in an Asian population.

26 November 2015 In General Health

BACKGROUND: The effect of alcohol consumption on prostate health and reproductive hormone profiles has long been investigated and currently, no consensus has been reached. Additionally, large studies focusing on this topic are relatively rare in China.

PURPOSE: To investigate the association of alcohol consumption with prostate measurements and reproductive hormone profiles in Chinese population; and to examine the relationship between hormone levels and prostate measurements.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 4535 men from four representative provinces of China. Demographic details, family history of prostate disease, tobacco and alcohol consumption, as well as International Prostate Symptom Score (I-PSS) were collected through a questionnaire. Total prostate specific antingen (total PSA), free PSA, free PSA/total PSA ratio (f/tPSA), and reproductive hormones were measured in serum. Multi-variable regression models were used to test for association of alcohol consumption with markers of prostate health, used to test for association of alcohol consumption with reproductive hormones, and reproductive hormones with markers of prostate health.

RESULTS: Alcohol consumption had no obvious impact on total PSA concentration and I-PSS. Current drinkers had lower level of free PSA (beta = -0.11, p = 0.02) and f/tPSA (beta = -0.03, p = 0.005), former drinkers also had lower level of free PSA (beta = -0.19, p = 0.02) when compared with never drinkers. Lower Luteinizing hormone (LH) (beta = -1.05, p = 0.01), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) (beta = -4.71, p = 0.01) and higher estradiol (beta = 7.81, p = 0.01) was found in current drinkers than never drinkers, whereas higher LH (beta = 1.04, p = 0.04) and free testosterone (FT) (beta = 0.03, p = 0.02) was detected in former drinkers than never drinkers. Furthermore, LH was positively associated with f/tPSA (beta = 0.002, p = 0.006), SHBG was also positively related with free PSA (beta = 0.003, p = 0.003) and f/tPSA (beta = 0.0004, p = 0.01). Both total testosterone (TT) and FT were inversely related with I-PSS (OR = 0.97, 95% CI, 0.95-0.98; OR = 0.23, 95% CI, 0.11-0.45, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption could affect serum free PSA concentration and also f/tPSA ratio, and also acts as an endocrine disruptor on the male reproductive hormone profiles. LH and SHBG were positively related with fPSA and f/tPSA, and higher level of TT and FT may be helpful for improving participants' subjective symptoms.

26 November 2015 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: There are limited longitudinal data on the associations between different social contexts of alcohol use and risky adolescent drinking.

METHODS: Australian prospective longitudinal cohort of 1943 adolescents with 6 assessment waves at ages 14-17 years. Drinkers were asked where and how frequently they drank. Contexts were: at home with family, at home alone, at a party with friends, in a park/car, or at a bar/nightclub. The outcomes were prevalence and incidence of risky drinking (>/=5 standard drinks (10g alcohol) on a day, past week) and very risky drinking (>20 standard drinks for males and >11 for females) in early (waves 1-2) and late (waves 3-6) adolescence.

RESULTS: Forty-four percent (95 % CI: 41-46 %) reported past-week risky drinking on at least one wave during adolescence (waves 1-6). Drinking at a party was the most common repeated drinking context in early adolescence (28 %, 95 % CI 26-30 %); 15 % reported drinking repeatedly (3+ times) with their family in early adolescence (95 % CI: 14-17 %). For all contexts (including drinking with family), drinking 3+ times in a given context was associated with increased the risk of risky drinking in later adolescence. These effects remained apparent after adjustment for potential confounders (e.g. for drinking with family, adjusted RR 1.9; 95 % CI: 1.5-2.4). Similar patterns were observed for very risky drinking.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that consumption with family does not protect against risky drinking. Furthermore, parents who wish to minimise high risk drinking by their adolescent children might also limit their children's opportunities to consume alcohol in unsupervised settings.

Page 5 of 22


The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer and Privacy Policy.