28 April 2022 In Cardiovascular System
OBJECTIVES: This study sought to characterize associations of total and beverage-specific alcohol consumption with incident atrial fibrillation (AF). BACKGROUND: Although binge drinking and moderate to high consumption of alcohol are both established risk factors for AF, comparatively less is known about the effect of low alcohol consumption and whether associations differ by specific alcoholic beverages. METHODS: Using data from the UK Biobank, total and beverage-specific alcohol consumption was calculated as UK standard drinks (8 g alcohol) per week. Past drinkers and those with a history of AF were excluded. Incident AF events were assessed through hospitalization and death records, and dose-response associations were characterized using Cox regression models with correction for regression dilution bias. RESULTS: We studied 403,281 middle-aged individuals (52.4% female). Over a median follow-up time of 11.4 years (interquartile range: 10.7-12.3), a total of 21,312 incident AF events occurred. A J-shaped association of total alcohol consumption was observed, with lowest risk of AF with fewer than 7 drinks/week. Beverage-specific analyses demonstrated harmful associations of beer/cider consumption with any consumption. In contrast, consumption of red wine, white wine, and spirits up to 10, 8, and 3 drinks/week, respectively, was not associated with increased risk. CONCLUSIONS: In this predominantly White population, low levels of alcohol consumption (
28 April 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies confirmed that moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a reduced risk of adverse cardiovascular events. It is increasingly recognized that the composition of gut microbiota and metabolites is involved in modulating the cardiovascular health of the host. However, the association of moderate alcohol consumption with serum metabolites and gut microbiome and its impact on coronary artery disease (CAD) is not fully investigated.

METHOD: Serum untargeted metabolomics analysis and fecal 16S rRNA sequencing were performed on 72 male patients with CAD having various alcohol consumption (36 non-drinkers, 18 moderate drinkers, and 18 heavy drinkers) and 17 matched healthy controls. MetaboAnalyst and PICRUSt2 were utilized to analyze the possible involved metabolic pathways. Multi-omics analysis was achieved by Spearman correlation to reveal the interactions of alcohol consumption with gut microbiome and serum metabolites in patients with CAD.

RESULTS: We noted distinct differences between patients with CAD, with varying levels of alcohol consumption and healthy controls in aspects of serum metabolome and the gut microbiome. Moderate alcohol consumption significantly changed the lipidomic profiles, including reductions of sphingolipids and glycerophospholipids in moderate drinkers with CAD when compared with non and heavy drinkers with CAD. Moreover, we also found the reduction of microbial-derived metabolites in moderate drinkers with CAD, such as 2-phenylacetamide and mevalonic acid. To be noted, the gut microbiota of moderate drinkers with CAD tended to resemble that of healthy controls. Compared with non-drinkers, the relative abundance of genus Paraprevotella, Lysinibacillus was significantly elevated in moderate drinkers with CAD, while the genus Bifidobacterium, Megasphaera, and Streptococcus were significantly reduced in moderate drinkers with CAD. Multi-omics analysis revealed that specific metabolites and microbes associated with moderate alcohol consumption were correlated with the severity of CAD.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed that the impact of moderate alcohol consumption on serum metabolites and gut microbiota in patients with CAD seemed to be separated from that of heavy and non-alcohol consumption. Moderate drinking tended to have more positive effects on metabolic profiles and commensal flora, which may explain its beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. Overall, our study provides a novel insight into the effects of moderate alcohol consumption in patients with CAD.

22 March 2022 In Drinking Patterns

The present study examines how alcohol intake from wine and non-wine alcoholic beverages (non-wine) in g/d, as well as cups of coffee and tea included as continuous covariates and mutually adjusted are associated with all-cause, cancer, non-cancer and CVD mortality. Consumption was assessed in 354 386 participants of the UK Biobank cohort who drank alcohol at least occasionally and survived at least 2 years after baseline with 20 201 deaths occurring over 4.2 million person-years.

Hazard ratios (HR) for mortality were assessed with Cox proportional hazard regression models and beverage intake fitted as penalised cubic splines. A significant U-shaped association was detected between wine consumption and all-cause, non-cancer and CVD mortality. Wine consumption with lowest risk of death (nadir) ranged from 19 to 23 g alcohol/d in all participants and both sexes separately. In contrast, non-wine intake was significantly and positively associated in a dose-dependent manner with all mortality types studied except for CVD in females and with the nadir between 0 and 12 g alcohol/d.

In all participants, the nadir for all-cause mortality was 2 cups coffee/d with non-coffee drinkers showing a slightly increased risk of death. Tea consumption was significantly and negatively associated with all mortality types in both sexes. Taken together, light to moderate consumption of wine but not non-wine is associated with decreased all-cause and non-cancer mortality. A minor negative association of coffee consumption with mortality cannot be excluded whereas tea intake is associated with a consistently decreased risk of all mortality types studied.

22 March 2022 In Drinking Patterns

ISSUES: Numerous studies have examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on alcohol use changes in Europe, with concerns raised regarding increased use and related harms.

APPROACH: We synthesised observational studies published between 1 January 2020 and 31 September 2021 on self-reported changes in alcohol use associated with COVID-19. Electronic databases were searched for studies evaluating individual data from European general and clinical populations. We identified 646 reports, of which 56 general population studies were suitable for random-effects meta-analyses of proportional differences in alcohol use changes. Variations by time, sub-region and study quality were assessed in subsequent meta-regressions. Additional 16 reports identified were summarised narratively.

KEY FINDINGS: Compiling reports measuring changes in overall alcohol use, slightly more individuals indicated a decrease than an increase in their alcohol use during the pandemic [3.8%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.00-7.6%]. Decreases were also reported more often than increases in drinking frequency (8.0%, 95% CI 2.7-13.2%), quantity consumed (12.2%, 95% CI 8.3-16.2%) and heavy episodic drinking (17.7%, 95% CI 13.6-21.8%). Among people with pre-existing high drinking levels/alcohol use disorder, high-level drinking patterns appear to have solidified or intensified.

IMPLICATIONS: Pandemic-related changes in alcohol use may be associated with pre-pandemic drinking levels. Increases among high-risk alcohol users are concerning, suggesting a need for ongoing monitoring and support from relevant health-care services.

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that more people reduced their alcohol use in Europe than increased it since the onset of the pandemic. However high-quality studies examining specific change mechanisms at the population level are lacking.

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