06 May 2014 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND: Favorable association between modest alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease had been reported in general population, however, whether observed benefit extend to men with established fatty liver disease remains unknown.

METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 10,581 consecutive male participants aged 30 years or older undergoing abdominal ultrasonography and carotid artery ultrasonography were screened. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was diagnosed with ultrasonography and exclusion of secondary causes for fat accumulation or other causes of chronic liver disease. Modest alcohol use was defined as consumption of less than 20 g of alcohol per day.

RESULTS: There were total 2280 men diagnosed with fatty liver, and the mean age was 51.8 years old. Among them, 1797 were modest alcohol drinkers. The prevalence of carotid plaques (55.3% vs. 43.4%, p < 0.001) and carotid artery stenosis (11.0% vs. 5.5%, p < 0.001) was higher in non-drinkers than modest drinkers. Modest alcohol consumption had the independent inverse association with carotid plaques [odd ratio (OR): 0.74, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.60-0.92] and carotid artery stenosis (OR: 0.62, 95% CI: 0.43-0.90), adjusted for age, smoking and metabolic syndrome.

CONCLUSIONS: Modest alcohol consumption had a favorable association with carotid plaque or CAS in men with NAFLD.

06 May 2014 In Dementia

OBJECTIVES: The association of alcohol consumption with performance in different cognitive domains has not been well studied.

METHODS: The Johns Hopkins Precursors Study was used to examine associations between prospectively collected information about alcohol consumption ascertained on multiple occasions starting at age 55 years on average with domain-specific cognition at age 72 years. Cognitive variables measured phonemic and semantic fluency, attention, verbal memory, and global cognition.

RESULTS: Controlling for age, hypertension, smoking status, sex, and other cognitive variables, higher average weekly quantity and frequency of alcohol consumed in midlife were associated with lower phonemic fluency. There were no associations with four other measures of cognitive function. With respect to frequency of alcohol intake, phonemic fluency was significantly better among those who drank three to four alcoholic beverages per week as compared with daily or almost daily drinkers. A measure of global cognition was not associated with alcohol intake at any point over the follow-up.

DISCUSSION: Results suggest that higher alcohol consumption in midlife may impair some components of executive function in late life.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

PURPOSE: To examine the association between alcohol consumption and mortality among older Mexican American men, with and without pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.

METHODS: We conducted survival analysis among 908 men aged 65-80 years from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly (H-EPESE), a longitudinal population-based study of older Mexican Americans who reside in the southwestern United States. Men were categorized into four alcohol-consumption groups: lifetime abstainers, former drinkers, low risk drinkers (< or =30 drinks/month and < or =3 drinks/occasion) and at-risk drinkers (>30 drinks/month or >3 drinks/occasion) and stratified into two groups: those with and those without pre-existing cardiovascular conditions. Mortality was ascertained from 1993-1994 to 2007.

RESULTS: Among participants without pre-existing cardiovascular conditions, former, low risk, and at-risk drinkers had a lower risk for all-cause mortality compared to lifetime abstainers [HR: .70, 95% CI (.50-.99), .64 (.42-.97) and .60 (.40-.92), respectively]. There was no statistically significant association between mortality and any of the alcohol consumption groups among those with cardiovascular conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: Among older Mexican-American men without cardiovascular conditions, former and current drinkers had lower mortality compared to abstainers. No such associations were observed between alcohol use and mortality among those with cardiovascular conditions.

06 May 2014 In Cancer




PURPOSE: To evaluate the influence of alcohol consumption on the risk of colorectal cancer according to folic acid fortification period in the United States.

METHODS: We evaluated the association between alcohol consumption and colorectal cancer by fortification period (before 1998 vs. after 1998) in 2 prospective cohort studies, the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) of women and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) of men, in which 2793 cases of invasive colorectal cancer were documented.

RESULTS: Alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Among nonusers of multivitamins and/or folic acid supplements, the pooled multivariate relative risk for >/=30 g/d drinkers versus nondrinkers was 1.36 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.09-1.70; P for trend, 0.02). The effect of alcohol consumption was slightly stronger in the prefolic acid fortification period (1980 NHS/1986 HPFS-1998) than in the postfortification period (1998-2008); the pooled multivariate relative risks for >/=30 g/d drinkers versus nondrinkers were 1.31 (95% CI, 1.00-1.71; P for trend, 0.10) in the prefortification period and 1.07 (95% CI, 0.69-1.65; P for trend, 0.67) in the postfortification period.

CONCLUSIONS: Folic acid fortification may attenuate the adverse effect of high alcohol consumption on the risk of colorectal cancer.




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