23 February 2022 In General Health

AIMS: To examine the association of alcohol consumption patterns with growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) in older drinkers, separately among individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD)/diabetes and those without them, as GDF-15 is a strong biomarker of chronic disease burden. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Population-based study in Madrid (Spain).

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2051 life-time drinkers aged 65+ years included in the Seniors-ENRICA-2 study in 2015-17. Participants' mean age was 71.4 years and 55.4% were men.

MEASUREMENTS: According to their average life-time alcohol intake, participants were classified as occasional ( 1.43-20 g/day; women: > 1.43-10 g/day), moderate-risk (men: > 20-40 g/day; women: > 10-20 g/day) and high-risk drinkers (men: > 40 g/day; women: > 20 g/day; or binge drinkers). We also ascertained wine preference (> 80% of alcohol derived from wine), drinking with meals and adherence to a Mediterranean drinking pattern (MDP) defined as low-risk drinking, wine preference and one of the following: drinking only with meals; higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet; or any of these.

FINDINGS: In participants without CVD/diabetes, GDF-15 increased by 0.27% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.06%, 0.48%] per 1 g/day increment in alcohol among high-risk drinkers, but there was no clear evidence of association in those with lower intakes or in the overall group, or across categories of alcohol consumption status. Conversely, among those with CVD/diabetes, GDF-15 rose by 0.19% (95% CI = 0.05%, 0.33%) per 1 g/day increment in the overall group and GDF-15 was 26.89% (95% CI = 12.93%, 42.58%) higher in high-risk versus low-risk drinkers. Drinking with meals did not appear to be related to GDF-15, but among those without CVD/diabetes, wine preference and adherence to the MDP were associated with lower GDF-15, especially when combined with high adherence to the Mediterranean diet.

CONCLUSIONS: Among older life-time drinkers in Madrid, Spain, high-risk drinking was positively associated with growth differentiation factor 15 (a biomarker of chronic disease burden). There was inconclusive evidence of a beneficial association for low-risk consumption.

23 February 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Wine consumption has a particular place in the culture of many European countries, and beliefs that wine offers health benefits are widespread. High consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages among many Europeans correlates with alcohol-related accidents and disease burdens. Health warning labels (HWLs) on alcohol containers have been increasingly recommended to deter consumers from drinking. However, findings on the impact of HWLs on consumers' behavior have been mixed. Moreover, many European consumers have been found to reject the use of warning labels as a policy intervention, especially for wine, perhaps due to its cultural and economic importance.

METHODS: An online study with a between-subjects design was conducted in Switzerland (N = 506) to assess whether HWLs can influence the perceived risk associated with drinking wine and vodka, a beverage insignificant to Swiss culture. Participants were presented an image of either a wine or vodka bottle with or without an HWL presenting a liver cancer warning statement. They were then asked to indicate their perceived risk of regularly consuming the depicted beverage. Acceptance and rejection of HWLs were also assessed.

RESULTS: The perceived risk of vodka consumption exceeded the corresponding risk for wine but was unaffected by an HWL. Perceived health benefits were the main, negative predictor of perceived consumption risk. Participants mainly rejected HWLs due to their perceived effectiveness, perceived positive health effects, social norms, and individualistic values.

CONCLUSIONS: Perceived risk is an important determinant of drinking behavior, and our results suggest that HWLs may be unable to alter risk perceptions. Furthermore, a strong belief in the health benefits of alcohol consumption, particularly wine consumption, reduce risk perceptions and may be unaffected by HWLs.

23 February 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.

23 February 2022 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: The dose-response association between alcohol consumption and the subsequent pancreatic cancer risk by individuals' glycaemic status is unclear.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHOD: This large-scale nationwide cohort study included 9,514,171 adults without cancer who underwent health examinations under the Korean National Health Insurance Service in 2009 and were followed-up until December 2017 for pancreatic cancer development. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was performed.

RESULTS: During a median follow-up period of 7.3 years, 12,818 patients were newly-diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Among individuals with normoglycemia, a J-shaped association was observed between the frequency of alcohol consumption (1-2 and >/=5 days/week: hazards ratio [HR]; 95% CI, 0.91; 0.85-0.97 and 1.13; 1.002-1.27, respectively) and pancreatic cancer risk, after adjusting for potential confounders. However, in patients with impaired fasting glucose (IFG), pancreatic cancer risk increased with increased frequency and average daily amount of alcohol consumption (all P for trend <0.01). IFG combined with heavy alcohol consumption (30 g/day) was associated with 38% increased pancreatic cancer risk (HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.23-1.54). Diabetes was associated with an increased pancreatic cancer risk regardless of alcohol consumption and 70% increased risk even in non-drinkers (HR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.61-1.80).

CONCLUSIONS: The J-shaped dose-response association between alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer risk was observed only in individuals with normoglycemia, not in patients with IFG and diabetes. Complete alcohol abstinence may help reduce pancreatic cancer risk in patients with IFG and diabetes.

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