23 July 2015 In Cancer

Despite plenty of evidence supports an inverse association between alcohol drinking and risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), sex-specific and beverage-specific dose-response relationships have not been well established. We examined this association by performing a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Studies were identified by comprehensively searching PubMed and EMBASE databases through February 21, 2015. Categorical and dose-response meta-analyses were conducted to identify the effects of alcohol on RCC. A total of eight publications (including seven cohort studies and one pooled analysis of 12 cohort studies) were eligible for this meta-analysis. Dose-response analysis showed that each 5 g/day increment of alcohol intake corresponded to a 5% decrease in risk of RCC for males and 9% for females. Alcohol intakes from wine, beer, and liquor were each associated with a reduced risk of RCC. When these associations were examined separately by gender, statistically significant inverse associations were restricted to alcohol from wine among females (RR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.73-0.91) and to alcohol from beer and from liquor among males (RR = 0.87, 95% CI 0.83-0.91 and RR = 0.95, 95% CI 0.92-0.99, respectively). In conclusion, there exist gender-specific and beverage-specific differences in the association between alcohol intake and RCC risk.

11 May 2015 In General Health

PURPOSE: To evaluate the association between different amounts of alcohol consumption and the risk of age-related cataract.

METHODS: We searched PubMed and Embase from their inception until May 2014 for case-control or cohort studies with data on alcohol consumption and age-related cataract. Heavy alcohol consumption was defined as more than two standard drinks per day, which is equal to a daily intake of 20 g of alcohol or 140 g per week. Moderate consumption was defined as less than 20 g of alcohol per day but more than never any. We performed separate meta-analyses for the associations of moderate or heavy alcohol consumption with age-related cataract under a random-effects model, respectively.

RESULTS: Five case-control and five cohort studies were identified through comprehensive literature search. In the meta-analysis of 10 studies, the associations between moderate alcohol consumption and age-related cataract were marginally nonsignificant (pooled relative risk, 0.88; 95% confidence interval, 0.74 to 1.05; I = 82.1%), whereas heavy alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of age-related cataract (pooled relative risk, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.50; I = 58.9%). The association between heavy alcohol consumption and cataract was stronger in case-control than in cohort studies. Adjusting for smoking as a potential confounder attenuated the association between heavy alcohol consumption and cataract.

CONCLUSIONS: Heavy alcohol consumption significantly increased the risk of age-related cataract, whereas moderate consumption may be protective for this ocular condition. Clinically, information on a patient's alcohol drinking history might be valuable to general physicians and ophthalmologists when there is a diagnosis of age-related cataract and should be collected on a routine basis in eye clinics.

11 May 2015 In Cancer

OBJECTIVE: To provide a precise quantification of the association between alcohol and tobacco consumption trends in head and neck cancer patients over the past 45 years.

METHODS: We combined findings from all studies published until March 2014 and evaluated the association between different levels in alcohol and tobacco consumption and head and neck cancers through a meta-analytic approach.

RESULTS: We included 28 studies involving 13830 patients with head and neck cancer. In patients with alcohol consumption, the pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were 1.29(1.06-1.57), 2.67(2.05-3.48) and 6.63(5.02-8.74) for light drinkers, moderate drinkers and heavy drinkers, respectively. In patients with tobacco consumption, the pooled OR and 95% CI were 2.33(1.84-2.95), 4.97(3.67-6.71) and 6.77(4.81-9.53) for light smokers, moderate smokers and heavy smokers, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The increased alcohol and tobacco consumption trends increased the risk of head and neck cancer over the past 45 years. Tobacco consumption was found to be a stronger risk factor for head and neck cancer than alcohol consumption. Thus, the control should be considered to limit the intake of alcohol and tobacco.

08 April 2015 In General Health

PURPOSE: To investigate alcohol drinking status and the association between drinking patterns and visual impairment in an adult population in northern China.

METHODS: Cluster sampling was used to select samples. The protocol consisted of an interview, pilot study, visual acuity (VA) testing and a clinical examination. Visual impairment was defined as presenting VA worse than 20/60 in any eye. Drinking patterns included drinking quantity (standard drinks per week) and frequency (drinking days in the past week).

RESULTS: Information on alcohol consumption was obtained from 8445 subjects, 963 (11.4%) of whom reported consuming alcohol. In multivariate analysis, alcohol consumption was significantly associated with older age (p < 0.001), male sex (p < 0.001), and higher education level (p < 0.01). Heavy intake (>14 drinks/week) was associated with higher odds of visual impairment. However, moderate intake (>1-14 drinks/week) was significantly associated with lower odds (adjusted odds ratio, OR, 0.7, 95% confidence interval, CI, 0.5-1.0) of visual impairment (p = 0.03). Higher drinking frequency was significantly associated with higher odds of visual impairment. Multivariate analysis showed that older age, male sex, and higher education level were associated with visual impairment among current drinkers. Age- and sex-adjusted ORs for the association of cataract and alcohol intake showed that higher alcohol consumption was not significantly associated with an increased prevalence of cataract (OR 1.2, 95% CI 0.4-3.6), whereas light and moderate alcohol consumption appeared to reduce incidence of cataract.

CONCLUSION: Drinking patterns were associated with visual impairment. Heavy intake had negative effects on distance vision; meanwhile, moderate intake had a positive effect on distance vision.

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