27 March 2020 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Light-to-moderate alcohol drinking reduces the risk of ischemic heart disease, and this effect of alcohol is mainly explained by alcohol-induced elevation of HDL cholesterol. Hypo-HDL cholesterolemia is a potent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to clarify how alcohol relates to cardiovascular risk factors in men with hypo-HDL-cholesterolemia.

METHODS: The subjects were middle-aged men with hypo-HDL cholesterolemia (< 40mg/dl), and they were divided into four groups by daily alcohol consumption (non-; light, < 22g ethanol/day; moderate, >/=22g ethanol and /=44g ethanol/day). Each risk factor was compared among the groups after adjustment for age and histories of smoking and regular exercise.

RESULTS: Systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, log-transformed lipid accumulation product and log-transformed cardio-metabolic index were significantly higher in moderate and heavy drinkers than in nondrinkers. Log-transformed triglycerides and triglycerides-to-HDL cholesterol ratio were significantly higher in light, moderate and heavy drinkers than in nondrinkers and tended to be higher with an increase of alcohol intake. LDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol-to-HDL cholesterol ratio were significantly lower in light, moderate and heavy drinkers than in nondrinkers and tended to be lower with an increase of alcohol intake. The above trends for the relationships of alcohol drinking with the cardiovascular risk factors were also found in multivariate logistic regression analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: In men with hypo-HDL cholesterolemia, alcohol drinking shows positive associations with blood pressure and triglycerides and an inverse association with LDL cholesterol.

27 March 2020 In Cancer

Alcohol intake is associated with the risk of breast cancer. Different patterns of alcohol-drinking may have different effects on breast cancer even when keeping constant the total amount of alcohol consumed. We aimed to assess the association between binge drinking and breast cancer risk. The SUN Project is a Spanish dynamic prospective cohort of university graduates initiated in 1999. In the 556-item lifestyle baseline questionnaire a validated food-frequency questionnaire was embedded. Participants completed biennial follow-up questionnaires. Cox regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) for breast cancer associated with the exposure to binge drinking. A stratified analysis was performed according to menopausal status. We included 9577 women (mean age = 34 years, SD = 10 years), with a median follow-up of 11.8 years. Among 104,932 women-years of follow-up, we confirmed 88 incident cases of breast cancer. Women in the binge drinking group showed a higher risk of breast cancer (HR = 1.76; 95% CI: 1.03-2.99) compared to women in the non-binge drinking category. In the stratified analysis, a 2-fold higher risk for premenopausal breast cancer was associated with binge drinking habit (HR = 2.06; 95% CI: 1.11-3.82). This study adds new evidence on the association of binge drinking with breast cancer risk.

21 February 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Problem drinking carries significant health burdens, including an increased risk of hypertension. The effect of chronic alcohol intake on blood pressure (BP) in women is understudied and poorly understood.

OBJECTIVES: We sought to examine the relationships between drinking habits and BP in hypertensive women. METHODS: We analyzed drinking habits in 113 women followed in the Brigham and Women's Hospital Hypertension Clinic for at least one year.

RESULTS: Among these women with well-controlled hypertension, baseline diastolic BP was significantly lower in moderate drinkers compared with women who rarely or never drank. Changes in both systolic and diastolic BP over 12 months showed a significant negative association with changes in percent drinking days. In contrast, there was a trend toward higher baseline systolic BP among those women who consumed more drinks per drinking day.

CONCLUSIONS: Among these women with controlled hypertension, our data failed to demonstrate an association between drinking beyond recommended limits and higher disease burden. These findings parallel the widely reported difference between drinking frequency, associated with a host of positive health outcomes, and drinking intensity, associated with negative outcomes. Novel to this report is an observed reduction in blood pressure over the one-year follow-up period accompanying an increased drinking frequency in treated hypertensive women. Cautions include the suggestion that a greater number of drinks per drinking day was associated with higher baseline pressure. These data imply that drinking within sensible limits has no negative impact on chronic hypertension. In fact, for women with well-controlled hypertension, such a habit may impart benefit

21 February 2020 In General Health

The primary aim of this systematic review was to establish the prevalence, character, and risk factors of peripheral neuropathy amongst chronic alcohol abusers and to identify the most appropriate management strategies.

In this review, possible pathogenetic mechanisms are also discussed. A systematic, computer-based search was conducted using the PubMed database. Data regarding the above parameters were extracted. 87 articles were included in this review, 29 case-control studies, 52 prospective/retrospective cohort studies and 2 randomised control trials, 1 cross sectional study, and 3 population-based studies.

The prevalence of peripheral neuropathy amongst chronic alcohol abusers is 46.3% (CI 35.7- 57.3%) when confirmed via nerve conduction studies. Alcohol-related peripheral neuropathy generally presents as a progressive, predominantly sensory axonal length-dependent neuropathy.

The most important risk factor for alcohol-related peripheral neuropathy is the total lifetime dose of ethanol, although other risk factors have been identified including genetic, male gender, and type of alcohol consumed. At present, it is unclear what the pathogenetic mechanisms for the development of neuropathy amongst those who chronically abuse alcohol are, and therefore, it is unknown whether it is attributed to the direct toxic effects of ethanol or another currently unidentified factor.

There is presently sparse data to support a particular management strategy in alcohol-related peripheral neuropathy, but the limited data available appears to support the use of vitamin supplementation, particularly of B-vitamin regimens inclusive of thiamine

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