21 April 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

To examine the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and adolescent alcoholic beverage preferences and the associated drinking patterns in China. The study used cross-sectional data collected from 136 junior or senior high schools, using a self-administered questionnaire. A total number of 7,075 subjects of drinking students were selected from three metropolises (Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou) via a two-stage stratified sampling method. Among the adolescent drinkers, 87.8% (95% CI: 86.5-89.0) reported that they drunk alcohol during the past years preceding the study, while 42.4% (95% CI: 40.4-44.4) of the subjects stated that they had drunk alcohol during the past 30 days. There were gradual increases in the usual quantity (>1 Standard Drink, SD) of alcoholic beverages with increasing SES, with highest rates reported by the high-level SES. Beer and grape wine were the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, regardless of SES. Our findings suggest that high-level SES students have an increasing prevalence of drinking behaviour. Their confirmation by future studies which extend the sampling regions is required to further the prevention of adolescent alcohol abuse in China.

22 March 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

PURPOSE: Heavy episodic (i.e., "binge") drinking (i.e., >/=five drinks/occasion) is highly prevalent among young adults; those who binge do so four times per month on average, consuming nine drinks on average on each occasion. Although it is well established that chronic heavy drinking (>/=two alcoholic beverages per day) increases the risk of hypertension, the relationship between binge drinking and blood pressure is not well described. Our aim was to describe the relationship between frequency of binge drinking, both current (at age 24 years) and past (at age 20 years), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) at age 24 years.

METHODS: Participants (n = 756) from the longitudinal Nicotine Dependence in Teens study reported alcohol consumption at ages 20 and 24 years and had SBP measured at age 24 years. We examined the association between binge drinking and SBP using multiple linear regression, controlling for sex, race/ethnicity, education, monthly drinking in high school, cigarette smoking, and body mass index.

RESULTS: Compared to nonbinge drinkers, SBP at age 24 years was 2.61 [.41, 4.82] mm Hg higher among current monthly bingers and 4.03 [1.35, 6.70] mm Hg higher among current weekly bingers. SBP at age 24 years was 2.90 [.54, 5.25] mm Hg higher among monthly bingers at age 20 years and 3.64 [.93, 6.35] mm Hg higher among weekly bingers at age 20 years, compared to nonbinge drinkers.

CONCLUSIONS: Frequent binge drinking at ages 20 and 24 years is associated with higher SBP at age 24 years and may be implicated in the development of hypertension.

22 March 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

OBJECTIVE To describe the patterns of alcohol consumption in Brazilian adolescents.

METHODS We investigated adolescents who participated in the Study of Cardiovascular Risks in Adolescents (ERICA). This is a cross-sectional, national and school-based study, which surveyed adolescents of 1,247 schools from 124 Brazilian municipalities. Participants answered a self-administered questionnaire with a section on alcoholic beverages consumption. Measures of relative frequency (prevalence), and their 95% confidence intervals, were estimated for the following variables: use of alcohol beverages in the last 30 days, frequency of use, number of glasses or doses consumed in the period, age of the first use of alcohol, and most consumed type of drink. Data were estimated for country and macro-region, sex, and age group. The module survey of the Stata program was used for data analysis of complex sample.

RESULTS We evaluated 74,589 adolescents, who accounted for 72.9% of eligible students. About 1/5 of adolescents consumed alcohol at least once in the last 30 days and about 2/3 in one or two occasions during this period. Among the adolescents who consumed alcoholic beverages, 24.1% drank it for the first time before being 12 years old, and the most common type of alcoholic beverages consumed by them were drinks based on vodka, rum or tequila, and beer.

CONCLUSIONS There is a high prevalence of alcohol consumption among adolescents, as well as their early onset of alcohol use. We also identified a possible change in the preferred type of alcoholic beverages compared with previous research.

22 March 2016 In General Health

PURPOSE: This work was aimed to study the relationships of moderate alcohol intake and the type of beverages consumed with health behaviors and quality of life in elderly people.

METHODS: In this observational study, 231 subjects (55-85 years) voluntarily answering to advertisements were enrolled and divided in three study groups: abstainers and occasional consumers (ABS; n = 98), moderate drinkers of beer (BEER; n = 63) and moderate drinkers of all sorts of alcoholic beverages (MIXED; n = 70). Variables assessed included physical activity, activities of daily living, Mediterranean diet-adherence score, tobacco consumption, quality of sleep, body composition, medication and perception of health through the SF-36 questionnaire. Their relationship with alcohol consumption was assessed through general linear models including confounding variables (age, sex, chronic disease prevalence and socioeconomic status). ABS were also compared to moderate drinkers (MOD = BEER + MIXED).

RESULTS: The mean daily alcohol consumption in each group was (mean +/- SD): ABS: 0.7 +/- 1.1; BEER: 12.7 +/- 8.1; MIXED: 13.9 +/- 10.2 g/day. MOD and MIXED showed significantly higher physical activity (metabolic standard units; METs) than ABS (p = 0.023 and p = 0.004, respectively). MOD spent significantly less time doing housework activities than ABS (p = 0.032). Daily grams of alcohol consumption were significantly associated with METs (B = 21.727, p = 0.023). Specifically, wine consumption (g/day) was associated with METs (B = 46.196, p = <0.001) and showed borderline significant relationships with mental health (B = 0.245, p = 0.062) and vitality perception (B = 0.266, p = 0.054).

CONCLUSION: Moderate alcohol consumption, and in particular wine consumption, is associated with a more active lifestyle and better perception of own health in the Spanish elderly subjects studied.

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