22 June 2017 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Ethanol in alcoholic beverages is a known carcinogen, but its association with aggressive prostate cancer (APC) is uncertain. Recent studies have shown a modest increase in risk of APC associated with heavy alcohol intake while association for beverage types remain inconsistent.

METHODS: Using a case-control design and self-administered questionnaire, we examined the association between APC (high grade and/or advanced stage) and frequency and quantity of alcohol intake 2 years prior to enrolment. Furthermore, we delineated the relationships for beverage-specific intakes of beer, red wine, white wine and spirits.

RESULTS: The study included 1282 APC cases and 951 controls. Beer intake frequency of 5 days per week was associated with increased risk compared with no beer intake (odds ratio=1.66, 95% confidence interval: 1.12-2.48) whereas wine was protective at all frequencies of consumption compared with those with no wine intake. For every 10 g per week ethanol intake from beer increase, the odds of advanced PC rose by 3% (OR=1.03, 95% CI: 1.02-1.05). No such increased risk was observed for red or white wine while a marginal dose-response relationship was found for spirits (OR=1.03, 95% CI: 0.99-1.07).

CONCLUSIONS: Heavy beer and possibly spirits consumption is associated with increased risk while no dose-response relationship was found for red or white wine. Wine drinkers at all frequencies have a decreased risk of APC compared with those who did not drink wine.Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases advance online publication, 18 April 2017; doi:10.1038/pcan.2017.12

26 April 2017 In Pregnant Women

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: The practice and adverse consequences of pre-drinking have been documented within a dozen countries, but little remains known about the differences between countries or the country-specific determinants of pre-drinking. This study aims to estimate the percentage of pre-drinkers in different countries and the impact of country-level indicators such as the price of alcohol and the prevalence of drinkers and of heavy drinkers.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Using data from the Global Drug Survey, the percentage of pre-drinkers was estimated for 25 countries from 65 126 respondents. Bivariate and multivariate multilevel models were used to model the impact of the on-premise/off-premise drinks price ratio, the prevalence of current drinkers and of heavy drinkers on the percentage of pre-drinkers.

RESULTS: The estimated percentage of pre-drinkers per country ranged from 17.7% (Greece) to 85.4% (Ireland). Across all countries, the higher the prevalence of current drinkers, the higher the percentage of pre-drinkers. In addition, an interaction between the prevalence of heavy drinkers and the price ratio was found. In countries with a low price ratio, the higher the prevalence of heavy drinkers, the higher the percentage of pre-drinkers. The opposite effect was observed in countries with high price ratios.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Pre-drinking appears to be a worldwide phenomenon. The significant effects of all three indicators demonstrate the role of country-level determinants underpinning the prevalence of pre-drinking across countries. Policy makers could use the reported findings for initiating campaigns to reduce pre-drinking behaviour.

[Labhart F, Ferris J, Winstock A, Kuntsche E. The country-level effects of drinking, heavy drinking and drink prices on pre-drinking: An international comparison of 25 countries. Drug Alcohol Rev 2017;00:000-000]

26 April 2017 In Pregnant Women
INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: There is limited research regarding the effects of alcohol consumption by breastfeeding mothers on infant development. This study examined the frequency, correlates and outcomes of alcohol use during lactation. DESIGN AND METHODS: Data were from an Australian cohort study. Maternal demographics and substance use were assessed during pregnancy and at 8 weeks and 12 months postpartum. Breastfeeding duration, infant feeding, sleeping and development (Ages and Stages Questionnaire) were also assessed postpartum. Logistic regression and general linear model analyses examined characteristics of women who drank during breastfeeding, and the association between alcohol use during breastfeeding and infant outcomes. RESULTS: Alcohol use was reported by 60.7% and 69.6% of breastfeeding women at 8 weeks and 12 months postpartum, respectively. Breastfeeding women who consumed alcohol were more likely to be born in Australia or another English-speaking country, be tertiary educated and have higher household incomes. Most drank at low levels (
01 February 2017 In Social and Cultural Aspects

The alcohol industry have attempted to position themselves as collaborators in alcohol policy making as a way of influencing policies away from a focus on the drivers of the harmful use of alcohol (marketing, over availability and affordability). Their framings of alcohol consumption and harms allow them to argue for ineffective measures, largely targeting heavier consumers, and against population wide measures as the latter will affect moderate drinkers. The goal of their public relations organisations is to 'promote responsible drinking'. However, analysis of data collected in the International Alcohol Control study and used to estimate how much heavier drinking occasions contribute to the alcohol market in five different countries shows the alcohol industry's reliance on the harmful use of alcohol. In higher income countries heavier drinking occasions make up approximately 50% of sales and in middle income countries it is closer to two-thirds. It is this reliance on the harmful use of alcohol which underpins the conflicting interests between the transnational alcohol corporations and public health and which militates against their involvement in the alcohol policy arena.

[Caswell S, Callinan S, Chaiyasong S, Cuong PV, Kazantseva E, Bayandorj T, Huckle T, Parker K, Railton R, Wall M. How the alcohol industry relies on harmful use of alcohol and works to protect its profits. Drug Alcohol Rev 2016;35:661-664]

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