05 June 2020 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Binge drinking causes injury and illness. Prevalence of binge drinking doubled in 2006-2018 for women in middle adulthood (ages 30 s and 40 s); these are the first cohorts for whom attaining higher education and income (both associated with increased alcohol use) are highly prevalent. It is unknown whether recent trends in binge drinking among US women aged 30-49 differ by socio-economic status (SES).

METHODS: We examined trends in binge drinking using nationally-representative National Health Interview Surveys (2006-2018) for women age 30-49 (N = 63,426), by education (college) and family income (400 % of poverty line), controlling for age and race.

RESULTS: The odds of binge drinking increased among all women approximately 7 % annually from 2006 to 2018. The magnitude of the change increased with education; the predicted probability of binge drinking among women at lowest levels of education increased from 10 % to 13 % from 2006 to 2018 (adjusted OR [AOR] 1.02, 95 % CI 0.99, 1.04), and those with the highest education from 13%-32% (AOR 1.10, 95 % CI 1.08-1.12). Women at the lowest income increased binge drinking from 12 % to 16 % (AOR 1.03, 95 % CI 1.01-1.05) and highest income from 17 % to 36 % (AOR 1.09, 95 % CI 1.07-1.10). Interactions between education (F855(4), p < 0.001) and income (F857(3), p < 0.001) with time confirmed slope differences.

CONCLUSIONS: Nationally, women at all levels of SES increased binge drinking, but increases were most pronounced among high SES women.

05 June 2020 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Many addictive substances, such as tobacco and alcohol, influence atherosclerosis development. Whether or not tobacco's pro-atherosclerotic effect is influenced by alcohol consumption is unknown. We aimed to estimate the impact of alcohol intake on the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis in femoral arteries in smoking and non-smoking middle-aged men.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional analysis of a subset of the Aragon Workers Health Study (AWHS), comprising 2099 men with mean age 50.9 years without previous cardiovascular disease.

MEASUREMENTS: The presence of plaques in femoral arteries was assessed by high-resolution sonography. Self-reported alcohol consumption over the previous year was measured with a food frequency questionnaire. The sample was divided into four groups according to their daily grams of alcohol consumption /= 2 to < 30, >/= 30 to < 60 and >/= 60 g/day. Participants were divided on ever-smoking (current and former) versus never-smoking strata in the main analysis.

FINDINGS: We did not find a significant association between the different levels of alcohol intake and the likelihood of developing femoral artery atherosclerosis in never-smokers. Ever-smoking was positively associated with femoral atherosclerosis overall [odds ratio (OR) = 3.00; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.40, 3.74; P < 0.001] and within each level of alcohol consumption. Atherosclerosis was lower in ever-smokers who consumed 2 g/day or more but less than 30 g/day with respect to those ever-smokers who were abstainers (OR = 0.70; 95% CI = 0.49, 0.99; P < 0.05). However, among these ever-smokers, atherosclerosis prevalence was still higher than among never-smokers who consumed alcohol in the same amount (2 g/day or more but less than 30 g/day) (OR = 2.73; 95% CI = 2.07, 3.61; P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Among middle-aged men, moderate alcohol consumption appears to be associated with lower prevalence of femoral artery subclinical atherosclerosis compared with alcohol abstinence only in ever-smokers.

04 May 2020 In Liver Disease

Background/Aims: Multiple meta-analyses and observational studies have reported that alcohol is a risk factor for liver cancer. However, whether there is a safe level of alcohol consumption remains unclear. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the correlation between low-level alcohol consumption and the risk of liver cancer.

Methods: Nested case-control studies and cohort studies involving the general population published prior to July 2019 were searched. In total, 28 publications (31 cohorts) with 4,899 incident cases and 10,859 liver cancer-related deaths were included. The pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.

Results: Compared with those with low levels of alcohol consumption, moderate and heavy drinkers (>/=1 drink/day for females and >/=2 drinks/day for males) had pooled ORs of 1.418 (95% CI, 1.192 to 1.687; p<0.001) for liver cancer incidence and 1.167 (95% CI, 1.056 to 1.290; p=0.003) for liver cancer mortality. The pooled OR for liver disease-related mortality for those with more than low levels of alcohol consumption was 3.220 (95% CI, 2.116 to 4.898; p<0.001) and that for all-cause mortality was 1.166 (95% CI, 1.065 to 1.278; p=0.001). The sensitivity analysis showed that none of the studies had a strong effect on the pooled OR. The Egger test, Begg rank correlation test, and the funnel plot showed no overt indication of publication bias.

Conclusions: Continuous consumption of more than a low-level of alcohol (>/=1 drink/day for females and >/=2 drinks/day for males) is related to a higher risk of liver cancer.

04 May 2020 In Dementia

Although heavy alcohol consumption has been identified as a risk factor for adverse cognitive functioning, it currently remains unclear whether moderate alcohol consumption exerts similar effects. Observational studies previously reported the potential benefits of moderate alcohol consumption on cognition, particularly in the elderly; however, these effects have not yet been demonstrated in Asian populations.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between alcohol consumption levels and global and domain-specific cognitive functions in cognitively intact elderly Japanese men. Cross-sectional data from the Shiga Epidemiological Study of Subclinical Atherosclerosis (SESSA), an ongoing prospective, population-based study in Shiga, Japan, were used to examine the relationship between alcohol consumption and cognitive function. Men (n = 585) aged >/=65 years provided information on their weekly consumption of alcohol, and the data obtained were used to construct categories of never, ex- (quit before interview), very light (23-46 g/day), and heavy (>46 g/day) drinkers.

Cognitive function was measured using the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI). A fractional logistic regression model adjusted for age, education, body mass index, smoking, exercise, hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia showed that the CASI scores for global and domain-specific cognitive functions were not significantly different between all subgroups of current drinkers and never-drinkers.

However, the CASI score of ex-drinkers (multivariable adjusted mean CASI score [SD]) was significantly lower than that of never-drinkers in the global [never vs. ex: 90.16 (2.21) vs. 88.26 (2.58)] and abstraction and judgment domain [never vs. ex: 9.48 (0.46) vs. 8.61 (0.57)]).

The present results do not suggest any beneficial or adverse relationship between current alcohol consumption levels and cognitive functioning (both global and domain specific) in elderly Japanese men; however, low cognitive function among ex-drinkers warrants future investigations to identify the factors causing drinkers to quit.

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