01 February 2017 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

This study examined cross-national similarities in a developmental model linking early age of alcohol use onset to frequent drinking and heavy drinking and alcohol problems 1 and 2 years later in a binational sample of 13-year-old students from two states: Washington State, USA and Victoria, Australia (N = 1833). A range of individual, family, school, and peer influences was included in analyses to investigate their unique and shared contribution to development of early and more serious forms of alcohol use and harms from misuse. Data were collected annually over a 3-year period from ages 13 to 15. Analyses were conducted using multiple-group structural equation modeling. For both states, early use of alcohol predicted frequent drinking, which predicted alcohol problems. Family protective influences had neither direct effects on heavy drinking nor effects on alcohol harm in either state, whereas school protection directly reduced the risk of heavy drinking in both states. Exposure to antisocial peers and siblings predicted a higher likelihood of heavy drinking and alcohol harm for students in both Washington and Victoria. Implications for the prevention of adolescent alcohol problems are discussed.

15 December 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

AIM: To systematically review evidence on the influence of specific marketing components (Price, Promotion, Product attributes and Place of sale/availability) on key drinking outcomes (initiation, continuation, frequency and intensity) in young people aged 9-17.

METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, PsychINFO, CINAHL and ProQuest were searched from inception to July 2015, supplemented with searches of Google Scholar, hand searches of key journals and backward and forward citation searches of reference lists of identified papers.

RESULTS: Forty-eight papers covering 35 unique studies met inclusion criteria. Authors tended to report that greater exposure to alcohol marketing impacted on drinking initiation, continuation, frequency and intensity during adolescence. Nevertheless, 23 (66%) studies reported null results or negative associations, often in combination with positive associations, resulting in mixed findings within and across studies. Heterogeneity in study design, content and outcomes prevented estimation of effect sizes or exploration of variation between countries or age subgroups. The strength of the evidence base differed according to type of marketing exposure and drinking outcome studied, with support for an association between alcohol promotion (mainly advertising) and drinking outcomes in adolescence, whilst only two studies examined the relationship between alcohol price and the drinking behaviour of those under the age of 18.

CONCLUSION: Despite the volume of work, evidence is inconclusive in all four areas of marketing but strongest for promotional activity. Future research with standardized measures is needed to build on this work and better inform interventions and policy responses.

02 August 2016 In Social and Cultural Aspects

Adolescence is a time that can set the course of alcohol abuse later in life. Sensitivity to reward on multiple levels is a major factor in this development. We examined 736 adolescents from the IMAGEN longitudinal study for alcohol drinking during early (mean age=14.37) and again later (mean age=16.45) adolescence. Conducting structural equation modeling we evaluated the contribution of reward-related personality traits, behavior, brain responses and candidate genes. Personality seems to be most important in explaining alcohol drinking in early adolescence. However, genetic variations in ANKK1 (rs1800497) and HOMER1 (rs7713917) play an equal role in predicting alcohol drinking two years later and are most important in predicting the increase in alcohol consumption. We hypothesize that the initiation of alcohol use may be driven more strongly by personality while the transition to increased alcohol use is more genetically influenced.

17 May 2016 In Cardiovascular System

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to update the current information on alcohol consumption and evaluate the associations between drinking status and cardiovascular diseases in a general population from rural China.

METHODS: The study examined a total of 11,269 adults using a multi-stage cluster sampling method to select a representative sample of individuals 35years or older. Related medical histories were obtained using a standard questionnaire, and blood biochemical indexes were collected by well-trained personnel. Participants were asked for information about whether they regularly consumed alcohol, their average alcohol consumption per day, and the number of days per month that they consumed alcohol.

RESULTS: This population consisted of 75.8% non-drinkers, 7.5% moderate drinkers, and 16.7% heavy drinkers. And the mean alcohol consumption per day for the total population was 15.29+/-0.35g/d (women: 1.0+/-0.11g/d and men 32.5+/-0.69g/d, p<0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that heavy drinkers had an approximately 1.3-fold and 1.7-fold greater risk for coronary heart disease and hypertension, respectively (OR: 1.252, 95% CI: 1.012 to 1.549; OR: 1.741, 95% CI: 1.519 to 1.994, respectively) compared with that of the non-drinking group. After fully adjusting the data for all variables, the data showed no significant association between moderate alcohol consumption and CHD, HT or ischemic stroke.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption in rural populations is high, particularly in men. Heavy drinking is a risk factor for coronary heart disease and hypertension, but not for ischemic stroke. There was no significant association between moderate alcohol consumption and CHD, HT or ischemic stroke.

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