27 January 2016 In Cancer

The relationship between alcohol drinking and the prognosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is unknown. To investigate the prognostic value of alcohol drinking on NPC, this retrospective study was conducted on 1923 male NPC patients. Patients were classified as current, former and non-drinkers according to their drinking status. Furthermore, they were categorized as heavy drinkers and mild/none drinkers based on the intensity and duration of alcohol drinking. Survival outcomes were compared using Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards model. We found that current drinkers had significantly lower overall survival (OS) rate (5-year OS: 70.2% vs. 76.4%, P < 0.001) and locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRFS) rate (5-year LRFS: 69.3% vs. 77.5%, P < 0.001) compared with non-drinkers. Drinking >/=14 drinks/week, and drinking >/=20 years were both independent unfavorable prognostic factors for OS (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.38, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05-1.81, P = 0.022; HR = 1.38, 95% CI 1.09-1.75, P = 0.007). Stratified analyses further revealed that the negative impacts of alcohol were manifested mainly among older patients and among smokers. In conclusion, alcohol drinking is a useful predictor of prognosis in male NPC patients; drinkers, especially heavy drinkers have poorer prognosis.

26 November 2015 In General Health

BACKGROUND: The effect of alcohol consumption on prostate health and reproductive hormone profiles has long been investigated and currently, no consensus has been reached. Additionally, large studies focusing on this topic are relatively rare in China.

PURPOSE: To investigate the association of alcohol consumption with prostate measurements and reproductive hormone profiles in Chinese population; and to examine the relationship between hormone levels and prostate measurements.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 4535 men from four representative provinces of China. Demographic details, family history of prostate disease, tobacco and alcohol consumption, as well as International Prostate Symptom Score (I-PSS) were collected through a questionnaire. Total prostate specific antingen (total PSA), free PSA, free PSA/total PSA ratio (f/tPSA), and reproductive hormones were measured in serum. Multi-variable regression models were used to test for association of alcohol consumption with markers of prostate health, used to test for association of alcohol consumption with reproductive hormones, and reproductive hormones with markers of prostate health.

RESULTS: Alcohol consumption had no obvious impact on total PSA concentration and I-PSS. Current drinkers had lower level of free PSA (beta = -0.11, p = 0.02) and f/tPSA (beta = -0.03, p = 0.005), former drinkers also had lower level of free PSA (beta = -0.19, p = 0.02) when compared with never drinkers. Lower Luteinizing hormone (LH) (beta = -1.05, p = 0.01), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) (beta = -4.71, p = 0.01) and higher estradiol (beta = 7.81, p = 0.01) was found in current drinkers than never drinkers, whereas higher LH (beta = 1.04, p = 0.04) and free testosterone (FT) (beta = 0.03, p = 0.02) was detected in former drinkers than never drinkers. Furthermore, LH was positively associated with f/tPSA (beta = 0.002, p = 0.006), SHBG was also positively related with free PSA (beta = 0.003, p = 0.003) and f/tPSA (beta = 0.0004, p = 0.01). Both total testosterone (TT) and FT were inversely related with I-PSS (OR = 0.97, 95% CI, 0.95-0.98; OR = 0.23, 95% CI, 0.11-0.45, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption could affect serum free PSA concentration and also f/tPSA ratio, and also acts as an endocrine disruptor on the male reproductive hormone profiles. LH and SHBG were positively related with fPSA and f/tPSA, and higher level of TT and FT may be helpful for improving participants' subjective symptoms.

16 October 2015 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption is proposed to be the third most important modifiable risk factor for death and disability. However, alcohol consumption has been associated with both benefits and harms, and previous studies were mostly done in high-income countries. We investigated associations between alcohol consumption and outcomes in a prospective cohort of countries at different economic levels in five continents.

METHODS: We included information from 12 countries participating in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study, a prospective cohort study of individuals aged 35-70 years. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to study associations with mortality (n=2723), cardiovascular disease (n=2742), myocardial infarction (n=979), stroke (n=817), alcohol-related cancer (n=764), injury (n=824), admission to hospital (n=8786), and for a composite of these outcomes (n=11 963).

FINDINGS: We included 114 970 adults, of whom 12 904 (11%) were from high-income countries (HICs), 24 408 (21%) were from upper-middle-income countries (UMICs), 48 845 (43%) were from lower-middle-income countries (LMICs), and 28 813 (25%) were from low-income countries (LICs). Median follow-up was 4.3 years (IQR 3.0-6.0). Current drinking was reported by 36 030 (31%) individuals, and was associated with reduced myocardial infarction (hazard ratio [HR] 0.76 [95% CI 0.63-0.93]), but increased alcohol-related cancers (HR 1.51 [1.22-1.89]) and injury (HR 1.29 [1.04-1.61]). High intake was associated with increased mortality (HR 1.31 [1.04-1.66]). Compared with never drinkers, we identified significantly reduced hazards for the composite outcome for current drinkers in HICs and UMICs (HR 0.84 [0.77-0.92]), but not in LMICs and LICs, for which we identified no reductions in this outcome (HR 1.07 [0.95-1.21]; pinteraction<0.0001).

INTERPRETATION: Current alcohol consumption had differing associations by clinical outcome, and differing associations by income region. However, we identified sufficient commonalities to support global health strategies and national initiatives to reduce harmful alcohol use.

FUNDING: Population Health Research Institute, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, AstraZeneca (Canada), Sanofi-Aventis (France and Canada), Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany and Canada), Servier, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, King Pharma, and national or local organisations in participating countries.

16 October 2015 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption is proposed to be the third most important modifiable risk factor for death and disability. However, alcohol consumption has been associated with both benefits and harms, and previous studies were mostly done in high-income countries. We investigated associations between alcohol consumption and outcomes in a prospective cohort of countries at different economic levels in five continents.

METHODS: We included information from 12 countries participating in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study, a prospective cohort study of individuals aged 35-70 years. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to study associations with mortality (n=2723), cardiovascular disease (n=2742), myocardial infarction (n=979), stroke (n=817), alcohol-related cancer (n=764), injury (n=824), admission to hospital (n=8786), and for a composite of these outcomes (n=11 963).

FINDINGS: We included 114 970 adults, of whom 12 904 (11%) were from high-income countries (HICs), 24 408 (21%) were from upper-middle-income countries (UMICs), 48 845 (43%) were from lower-middle-income countries (LMICs), and 28 813 (25%) were from low-income countries (LICs). Median follow-up was 4.3 years (IQR 3.0-6.0). Current drinking was reported by 36 030 (31%) individuals, and was associated with reduced myocardial infarction (hazard ratio [HR] 0.76 [95% CI 0.63-0.93]), but increased alcohol-related cancers (HR 1.51 [1.22-1.89]) and injury (HR 1.29 [1.04-1.61]). High intake was associated with increased mortality (HR 1.31 [1.04-1.66]). Compared with never drinkers, we identified significantly reduced hazards for the composite outcome for current drinkers in HICs and UMICs (HR 0.84 [0.77-0.92]), but not in LMICs and LICs, for which we identified no reductions in this outcome (HR 1.07 [0.95-1.21]; pinteraction<0.0001).

INTERPRETATION: Current alcohol consumption had differing associations by clinical outcome, and differing associations by income region. However, we identified sufficient commonalities to support global health strategies and national initiatives to reduce harmful alcohol use.

FUNDING: Population Health Research Institute, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, AstraZeneca (Canada), Sanofi-Aventis (France and Canada), Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany and Canada), Servier, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, King Pharma, and national or local organisations in participating countries.

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