27 April 2023 In General Health

PURPOSE: To assess the association between intakes of total alcohol and individual alcoholic beverages and the incidence of exfoliation glaucoma/glaucoma suspect (XFG/XFGS) status. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 195 408 participants in the Nurses' Health Study (1980-2018), the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2018), and the Nurses' Health Study II (1991-2019) were followed biennially. Eligible participants at each 2-year risk period were >== 40 years and free of XFG/XFGS status with available data on diet and ophthalmic examination findings. METHODS: Cumulatively averaged total (primary exposure) and individual alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, and liquor) intakes from validated dietary information every 2-4 years.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Confirmed incident XFG/XFGS status using medical records. We used per-eye Cox proportional hazards models, accounting for intereye correlations, to estimate multivariate-adjusted relative risks (MVRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS: During 6 877 823 eye-years of follow-up, 705 eyes with XFG/XFGS status were documented.

Greater total alcohol consumption was associated significantly with higher XFG/XFGS status risk: the MVRR for XFG/XFGS status for cumulatively averaged alcohol consumption of >==15 g/day or more versus nondrinking was 1.55 (95% CI, 1.17-2.07; P = 0.02 for trend). Long- and short-term alcohol intake was associated significantly with XFG/XFGS status risk, with the strongest associations with cumulatively averaged alcohol intake as of 4 years before diagnosis (MVRR >/= 15 g/day vs. nondrinking, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.25-2.18; P = 0.002 for trend). Compared with nondrinkers, consuming >== 3.6 drinks of beer, wine, or liquor per week was associated with the following MVRRs for XFG/XFGS status: 1.26 (95% CI, 0.89-1.77; P = 0.40 for trend), 1.30 (95% CI, 1.00-1.68; P = 0.15 for trend), and 1.46 (95% CI, 1.15-1.85; P = 0.01 for trend), respectively. We did not observe interactions by age, latitude, residential tier, or intakes of folate or vitamin A (P > 0.40 for interaction); however, the association between alcohol and XFG/XFGS status was suggestively stronger for those without a family history of glaucoma (P = 0.10 for interaction). CONCLUSIONS: Long-term alcohol consumption was associated with a higher risk of XFG/XFGS status. Our findings provide further clues regarding the XFG/XFGS etiology.

23 February 2023 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Incidence of early-onset colorectal cancer (EOCRC; e.g., diagnosed before age 50) in the United States has increased substantially since the 1990s but the underlying reasons remain unclear. METHODS: We examined the ecologic associations between dietary factors and EOCRC incidence in adults aged 25-49 during 1977-2016 in the United States, using negative binomial regression models, accounting for age, period, and race.

The models also incorporated an age-mean centering (AMC) approach to address potential confounding by age. We stratified the analysis by sex and computed incidence rate ratio (IRR) for each study factor. Study factor data (for 18 variables) came from repeated national surveys; EOCRC incidence data came from the Surveillance Epidemiology, and End Results Program. RESULTS: Results suggest that confounding by age on the association with EOCRC likely existed for certain study factors (e.g., calcium intake), and that AMC can alleviate the confounding. EOCRC incidence was positively associated with smoking [IRR (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.17 (1.10-1.24) for men; 1.15 (1.09-1.21) for women] and alcohol consumption [IRR (95% CI), 1.08 (1.04-1.12) for men; 1.08 (1.04-1.11) for women].

No strong associations were found for most other study factors (e.g., fiber and calcium). CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption was positively associated with EOCRC and has increased among young adults since the 1980s, which may have contributed to the EOCRC incidence increases since the 1990s. The AMC approach may help alleviate age confounding in similar ecologic analyses. IMPACT: Increases in alcohol consumption may have contributed to the recent increases in colorectal cancer incidence among young adults. See related commentary by Ni et al., p. 164.

07 February 2023 In Liver Disease

Alcohol use and metabolic syndrome are highly prevalent in the population and frequently co-exist. Both are implicated in a large range of health problems, including chronic liver disease, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver-related outcomes (i.e. decompensation or liver transplantation). Studies have yielded mixed results regarding the effects of mild-moderate alcohol consumption on the risk of metabolic syndrome and fatty liver disease, possibly due to methodological differences.

The few available prospective studies have indicated that mild-moderate alcohol use is associated with an increase in liver-related outcomes.

This conclusion was substantiated by systems biology analyses suggesting that alcohol and metabolic syndrome may play a similar role in fatty liver disease, potentiating an already existing dysregulation of common vital homeostatic pathways. Alcohol and metabolic factors are independently and jointly associated with liver-related outcomes. Indeed, metabolic syndrome increases the risk of liver-related outcomes, regardless of alcohol intake. Moreover, the components of metabolic syndrome appear to have additive effects when it comes to the risk of liver-related outcomes. A number of population studies have implied that measures of central/abdominal obesity, such as the waist-to-hip ratio, can predict liver-related outcomes more accurately than BMI, including in individuals who consume harmful quantities of alcohol.

Many studies even point to synergistic interactions between harmful alcohol use and many metabolic components. This accumulating evidence showing independent, combined, and modifying effects of alcohol and metabolic factors on the onset and progression of chronic liver disease highlights the multifactorial background of liver disease in the population. The available evidence suggests that more holistic approaches could be useful for risk prediction, diagnostics and treatment planning.

07 February 2023 In Drinking Patterns

Alcohol drinking patterns may determine the risk of hypertension and may also modify the detrimental effect of high alcohol intake. We prospectively evaluated the effect of the Mediterranean alcohol-drinking pattern and its interaction with the amount of alcohol consumed on the incidence of arterial hypertension. In the "Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra" (SUN) cohort, we followed-up 13,805 participants, all of them initially free of hypertension, during a maximum period of 16 years.

Information about diet, chronic diseases, lifestyle and newly diagnosed hypertension was collected using validated questionnaires. We used a 7-item score (0 to 9 points) that jointly considered moderate alcohol consumption, distributed over the week, with meals, and a preference for red wine and avoidance of binge-drinking.

During 142,404 person-years of follow-up, 1443 incident cases of hypertension were identified. Low adherence (score < 2) to the Mediterranean alcohol-drinking pattern was significantly associated with a higher incidence of hypertension (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio 1.81, 95% confidence interval 1.09-2.99) as compared to the high-adherence (score > 7) category. Among alcohol consumers, a high adherence to the MADP is associated with a lower incidence of hypertension. Compared with abstinence, a high adherence did not seem to differ regarding its effect on hypertension risk.

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