23 November 2022 In General Health

This review summarises the evidence on the impact of serving and container size on how much people drink, interventions that have the potential to reduce alcohol consumption across populations, thereby improving health. A rapid search identified 10 published reports of 15 studies and 1 review. Four studies focused on serving size, eight studies and the review on glass size, two studies on bottle size and one on both glass and bottle size. Twelve studies and the review focused on wine, one study on beer and two on both. All were conducted in England, by just two research groups. Removing the largest serving size of wine decreased wine sales by 7.6% (95% CI -12.3%, -2.9%) in a study in 21 licenced premises, reflecting findings from two prior studies in semi-naturalistic settings. Adding a serving size for beer that was a size smaller than the largest was assessed in one study in 13 licenced premises, with no evident effect. Reducing the size of wine glasses in restaurants decreased wine sales by 7.3% (95% CI -13.5%, -1.5%) in a mega-analysis of eight datasets from studies in five licensed premises. Using smaller wine glasses at home may also reduce consumption, but the evidence from just one study is less certain. No studies have assessed the impact of glass size for drinking beer. The effect of bottles smaller than the standard 750 mL on wine consumed at home was assessed in two studies: 500 mL bottles reduced consumption by 4.5% (95% CI -7.9%, -1.0%) in one study, but in another, using 375 mL bottles there was no evident effect. No studies assessed the impact of bottle or other container size for drinking beer. Reducing the size of servings, glasses and bottles could reduce wine consumption across populations. The impact of similar interventions for reducing consumption of other alcoholic drinks awaits evaluation. Further studies are also warranted to assess the generalisability of existing evidence.

23 November 2022 In Drinking Patterns

Although excessive alcohol consumption is a highly prevalent public health problem the data on the associations between alcohol consumption and health outcomes in individuals preferring different types of alcoholic beverages has remained unclear. We examined the relationships between the amounts and patterns of drinking with the data on laboratory indices of liver function, lipid status and inflammation in a national population-based health survey (FINRISK). Data on health status, alcohol drinking, types of alcoholic beverages preferred, body weight, smoking, coffee consumption and physical activity were recorded from 22,432 subjects (10,626 men, 11,806 women), age range 25-74 years. The participants were divided to subgroups based on the amounts of regular alcohol intake (abstainers, moderate and heavy drinkers), patterns of drinking (binge or regular) and the type of alcoholic beverage preferred (wine, beer, cider or long drink, hard liquor or mixed). Regular drinking was found to be more typical in wine drinkers whereas the subjects preferring beer or hard liquor were more often binge-type drinkers and cigarette smokers. Alcohol use in all forms was associated with increased frequencies of abnormalities in the markers of liver function, lipid status and inflammation even at rather low levels of consumption. The highest rates of abnormalities occurred, however, in the subgroups of binge-type drinkers preferring beer or hard liquor. These results demonstrate that adverse consequences of alcohol occur even at moderate average drinking levels especially in individuals who engage in binge drinking and in those preferring beer or hard liquor. Further emphasis should be placed on such patterns of drinking in policies aimed at preventing alcohol-induced adverse health outcomes.

23 November 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Studies evaluating alcohol consumption and cardiovascular diseases have shown inconsistent results. METHODS: We performed a systematic review of peer-reviewed publications from an extensive query of Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, Ovid Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Scopus, and Web of Science from database inception to March 2022 for all studies that reported the association between alcohol consumption in terms of quantity (daily or weekly amounts) and type of beverage (wine, beer or spirit) and cardiovascular disease events.

RESULTS: The study population included a total of 1,579,435 individuals based on 56 cohorts from several countries. We found that moderate wine consumption defined as 1-4 drinks per week was associated with a reduction in risk for cardiovascular mortality when compared with beer or spirits. However, higher risk for cardiovascular disease mortality was typically seen with heavier daily or weekly alcohol consumption across all types of beverages.

CONCLUSIONS: It is possible that the observational studies may overestimate the benefits of alcohol for cardiovascular disease outcomes. Although moderate wine consumption is probably associated with low cardiovascular disease events, there are many confounding factors, in particular, lifestyle, genetic, and socioeconomic associations with wine drinking, which likely explain much of the association with wine and reduced cardiovascular disease events. Further prospective study of alcohol and all-cause mortality, including cancer, is needed.

27 October 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Studies evaluating alcohol consumption and cardiovascular diseases have shown inconsistent results.

METHODS: We performed a systematic review of peer-reviewed publications from an extensive query of Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, Ovid Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Scopus, and Web of Science from database inception to March 2022 for all studies that reported the association between alcohol consumption in terms of quantity (daily or weekly amounts) and type of beverage (wine, beer or spirit) and cardiovascular disease events.

RESULTS: The study population included a total of 1,579,435 individuals based on 56 cohorts from several countries. We found that moderate wine consumption defined as 1-4 drinks per week was associated with a reduction in risk for cardiovascular mortality when compared with beer or spirits. However, higher risk for cardiovascular disease mortality was typically seen with heavier daily or weekly alcohol consumption across all types of beverages.

CONCLUSIONS: It is possible that the observational studies may overestimate the benefits of alcohol for cardiovascular disease outcomes. Although moderate wine consumption is probably associated with low cardiovascular disease events, there are many confounding factors, in particular, lifestyle, genetic, and socioeconomic associations with wine drinking, which likely explain much of the association with wine and reduced cardiovascular disease events. Further prospective study of alcohol and all-cause mortality, including cancer, is needed.

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