29 October 2018 In Liver Disease
Understanding the role of modest alcohol consumption in patients with non-alcohol induced fatty liver disease (NAFLD) remains a significant challenge, with no clear guidance on counselling regarding alcohol use. Conventionally, the strong association of alcohol excess and development of complications related to chronic liver disease, including hepatocellular carcinoma, has led practitioners to advocate complete abstinence to those with NAFLD. New evidence published in this issue of the Red Journal challenges the historic paradigm by showing that modest, non-binge wine consumption (
18 May 2018 In Cancer

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The incidence of kidney cancer rises globally with the highest rates in developed countries. This demonstrates the impact of advanced diagnostic imaging but also rising prevalence of modifiable risk factors such as smoking, obesity and hypertension. A literature search was performed with focus on recent studies on risk factors related to lifestyle, medication and nutrition. Further we searched for the effect of cancer prevention strategies.

RECENT FINDINGS: Overall, we included 76 studies of the past 5 years. Based on current evidence smoking tobacco, obesity and hypertension remain established risk factors for kidney cancer. Certain analgesics and consumption of processed meat have been linked to increase development of renal cell carcinoma, although data are limited. Fruits, fiber-rich vegetables, coffee and physical activity may have a protective effect against kidney cancer but causal conclusions are not yet supported. Significantly, there is an increasing evidence of inverse association between moderate alcohol consumption.

SUMMARY: Overall evidence confirms an effective way to prevent the risk of kidney cancer is maintaining a healthy weight and avoid smoking. State policies should further ensure strategies to raise public awareness and support to adopt healthy lifestyles.

28 June 2017 In Liver Disease

Moderate alcohol consumption in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is common, yet the effects on cardiovascular and liver health are unclear. Moderate alcohol use is associated with improved insulin sensitivity and decreased cardiovascular mortality in the general population, but whether similar benefits would be observed in persons with NAFLD remains largely unstudied. There is significant overlap in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and NAFLD, although studies of ALD have focused on pathological alcohol intake and few mechanistic studies of moderate alcohol use in NAFLD exist. We undertook a critical review of the effect of moderate alcohol use on cardiovascular and liver disease in patients with NAFLD. A total of seven observational studies met the criteria for inclusion (one for cardiovascular endpoints and six for liver endpoints). Insufficient studies have assessed the association of moderate alcohol use with cardiovascular outcomes. There was a positive association between moderate alcohol use and decreased NASH and fibrosis; however, heavy episodic drinking may accelerate fibrosis progression and moderate alcohol use may increase the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with advanced fibrosis. Significant methodological limitations were present, including incomplete adjustment for confounding factors and failure to measure lifetime use or the pattern of alcohol intake. Thus, a strong recommendation of benefit of moderate alcohol use in NAFLD cannot be made. There remains a need for additional high-quality longitudinal studies that evaluate both cardiovascular and liver outcomes among NAFLD patients with moderate or lesser degrees of alcohol use. (Hepatology 2017;65:2090-2099).

22 June 2017 In Cancer

Previous studies suggest that alcohol consumption and risk of breast cancer may differ by histologic subtype and hormone receptor status, though results are not entirely consistent. In this population-based case-control study, we evaluated the association between alcohol consumption and risk of invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), and invasive ductal-lobular carcinoma (IDLC) overall and by estrogen receptor (ER) status, among women aged 55-74 years of age. Using polytomous regression, associations between current alcohol consumption, overall and by type of alcohol, and breast cancer risk were evaluated in 891 controls and 905 IDC, 567 ILC, and 489 IDLC cases. Current alcohol use was moderately associated with risk of ILC (odds ratio = 1.25, 95% confidence interval 0.99, 1.58) with a positive dose-response relationship based on average number of drinks per week consumed (P trend = 0.0005). When further stratified by ER status, alcohol use was positively associated with risk of ER+ ILC (P trend = 0.002) and ER+ IDC (P trend = 0.02), but inversely associated with risk of ER-IDC (P trend = 0.01). No association between alcohol and risk of IDLC tumors was observed. While the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk is well established, our results suggest that the increased risk associated with alcohol is largely limited to ER+ ILC and ER+ IDC. Thus, avoiding or moderating alcohol consumption may be one way that women can lower their risks of these forms of breast cancer.

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