25 January 2023 In General Health
Alcohol is a widely consumed substance in the United States, however its effect on aging remains understudied. In this study of young adults, we examined whether cumulative alcohol consumption, i.e., alcohol years of beer, liquor, wine, and total alcohol, and recent binge drinking, were associated with four measures of age-related epigenetic changes via blood DNA methylation. A random subset of study participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study underwent DNA methylation profiling using the Illumina MethylationEPIC Beadchip. Participants with alcohol consumption and methylation data at examination years 15 (n = 1,030) and 20 (n = 945) were included. Liquor and total alcohol consumption were associated with a 0.31-year (P = 0.002) and a 0.12-year (P = 0.013) greater GrimAge acceleration (GAA) per additional five alcohol years, while beer and wine consumption observed marginal (P = 0.075) and no associations (P = 0.359) with GAA, respectively. Any recent binge drinking and the number of days of binge drinking were associated with a 1.38-year (P
25 January 2023 In Drinking Patterns
BACKGROUND: Most of the available epidemiological evidence on alcohol and chronic disease agrees on recommending alcohol abstention to young people, but some controversy exists about the most appropriate recommendation for alcohol abstention for people of older ages. A growing body of evidence suggests that the pattern of alcohol consumption is likely to be a strong effect modifier. The Mediterranean Alcohol Drinking Pattern (MADP) represents a score integrating several dimensions of drinking patterns (moderation, preference for red wine, drinking with meals, and avoiding binge drinking). Our aim was to clarify this issue and provide more precise recommendations on alcohol consumption. METHODS: We prospectively followed-up 2226 participants (men older than 50 years and women older than 55 years at baseline) in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort. We classified participants into three categories of adherence to the MADP score (low, moderate, and high), and we added a fourth category for abstainers. Cox regression models estimated multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) of all-cause death and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using low MADP adherence as the reference category. RESULTS: The strongest reduction in risk of mortality was observed for those with high adherence to the MADP, with an HR of 0.54 (95% CI: 0.37-0.80). The moderate adherence group (HR = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.44-0.96) and the abstention group (HR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.36-0.98) also exhibited lower risks of mortality than the low MADP adherence group. CONCLUSIONS: based on the available evidence, a public health message can be provided to people older than 50 years as follows: among those who drink alcohol, high adherence to the MADP score could substantially reduce their risk of all-cause mortality.
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.

26 August 2022 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of several chronic diseases. In this multicohort study, we estimated the number of life-years without major chronic diseases according to different characteristics of alcohol use.

METHODS: In primary analysis, we pooled individual-level data from up to 129,942 adults across 12 cohort studies with baseline data collection on alcohol consumption, drinking patterns, and history between 1986 and 2005 (the IPD-Work Consortium). Self-reported alcohol consumption was categorised according to UK guidelines - non-drinking (never or former drinkers); moderate consumption (1-14 units); heavy consumption (>14 units per week). We further subdivided moderate and heavy drinkers by binge drinking pattern (alcohol-induced loss of consciousness). In addition, we assessed problem drinking using linked data on hospitalisations due to alcohol abuse or poisoning. Follow-up for chronic diseases for all participants included incident type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, and respiratory disease (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) as ascertained via linkage to national morbidity and mortality registries, repeated medical examinations, and/or self-report. We estimated years lived without any of these diseases between 40 and 75 years of age according to sex and characteristics of alcohol use. We repeated the main analyses using data from 427,621 participants in the UK Biobank cohort study.

FINDINGS: During 1.73 million person-years at risk, 22,676 participants in IPD-Work cohorts developed at least one chronic condition. From age 40 to 75 years, never-drinkers [men: 29.3 (95%CI 27.9-30.8) years, women 29.8 (29.2-30.4) years)] and moderate drinkers with no binge drinking habit [men 28.7 (28.4-29.0) years, women 29.6 (29.4-29.7) years] had the longest disease-free life span. A much shorter disease-free life span was apparent in participants who experienced alcohol poisoning [men 23.4 (20.9-26.0) years, women 24.0 (21.4-26.5) years] and those with self-reported heavy overall consumption and binge drinking [men: 26.0 (25.3-26.8), women 27.5 (26.4-28.5) years]. The pattern of results for alcohol poisoning and self-reported alcohol consumption was similar in UK Biobank. In IPD-Work and UK Biobank, differences in disease-free years between self-reported moderate drinkers and heavy drinkers were 1.5 years or less.

INTERPRETATION: Individuals with alcohol poisonings or heavy self-reported overall consumption combined with a binge drinking habit have a marked 3- to 6-year loss in healthy longevity. Differences in disease-free life between categories of self-reported weekly alcohol consumption were smaller. Funding: Medical Research Council, National Institute on Aging, NordForsk, Academy of Finland, Finnish Work Environment Fund.

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