26 February 2019 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

Low-risk thresholds for alcohol use differ across various national guidelines. To assess the novel WHO risk drinking levels in light of alcohol-sensitive common laboratory tests, we analysed biomarkers of liver status, inflammation and lipid profiles from a population-based survey of individuals classified to abstainers and different WHO risk drinking levels defined in terms of mean alcohol consumption per day. The study included 22,327 participants aged 25-74 years from the National FINRISK Study. Data on alcohol use, health status, diet, body weight and lifestyle (smoking, coffee consumption and physical activity) were recorded from structured interviews. Alcohol data from self-reports covering the past 12 months were used to categorize the participants into subgroups of abstainers and WHO risk drinking categories representing low, moderate, high and very high risk drinkers. Serum liver enzymes (GGT, ALT), C-reactive protein (CRP) and lipid profiles were measured using standard laboratory techniques. Alcohol risk category was roughly linearly related with the occurrence of elevated values for GGT, ALT and CRP. Alcohol drinking also significantly influenced the incidence of abnormalities in serum lipids. Significantly higher odds for abnormal GGT, ALT and altered lipid profiles remained in alcohol drinkers even after adjustment for age, waist circumference, physical inactivity, smoking and coffee consumption. A more systematic use of laboratory tests during treatment of individuals classified to WHO risk drinking categories may improve the assessment of alcohol-related health risks. Follow-ups of biomarker responses may also prove to be useful in health interventions aimed at reducing alcohol consumption.

27 September 2018 In Liver Disease

PURPOSE: To study the association between coffee and alcoholic beverage consumption and alcoholic liver disease mortality.

METHODS: In total, 219,279 men and women aged 30-67 years attended cardiovascular screening in Norway from 1994 to 2003. Linkage to the Cause of Death Registry identified 93 deaths from alcoholic liver disease. Coffee consumption was categorized into four levels: 0, 1-4, 5-8, and greater than or equal to 9 cups/d and alcohol consumption as 0, greater than 0 to less than 1.0, 1.0 to less than 2.0, and greater than or equal to 2.0 units/d, for beer, wine, liquor, and total alcohol consumption.

RESULTS: The hazard ratios per one category of consumption were 2.06 (95% confidence interval 1.62-2.61), 0.68 (0.46-1.00), and 2.54 (1.92-3.36) for beer, wine, and liquor, respectively. Stratification at 5 cups/d (the mean) revealed a stronger association between alcohol consumption and alcoholic liver disease at less than 5 versus 5 or more cups/d. With less than 5 cups/d, 0 alcohol units/d as reference, the hazard ratio reached to 25.5 (9.2-70.5) for greater than or equal to 2 units/d, whereas with greater than or equal to 5 cups/d, it reached 5.8 (1.9-17.9) for greater than or equal to 2 units/d. A test for interaction was significant (P = .01).

CONCLUSIONS: Coffee and wine consumption were inversely associated with alcoholic liver disease death. Total alcohol consumption was adversely associated with alcoholic liver disease mortality and the strength of the association varied with the level of coffee 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.

25 October 2016 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with a lower risk of disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It is unclear if this reflects current or lifetime drinking, or can be attributed to confounders such as diet and exercise. We evaluated the impact of lifetime alcohol consumption on fibrosis severity in NAFLD.

METHODS: We prospectively enrolled 120 subjects with biopsy-proven NAFLD and through detailed questionnaires examined lifetime alcohol consumption, diet and physical activity. Main outcome measures were odds ratios (OR) for fibrosis stage, calculated through ordinal regression after adjustment for body mass index, diabetes mellitus type 2, smoking and age at biopsy. A biomarker for recent alcohol consumption, phosphatidyl ethanol (PEth) was sampled.

RESULTS: An increase in median weekly alcohol consumption to a maximum of 13 drinks per week was associated with lower fibrosis stage (adjusted OR for each incremental unit, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.76-0.97; p = .017). The lowest risk for fibrosis was found with the lowes`t odds seen in the top quartile of alcohol consumption (aOR 0.23; 95% CI 0.08-0.66; p = .006). Adding soft drink and coffee consumptions, and physical activity to the model did not change the estimates. Subjects with PEth >/=0.3 mumol/L had higher ORs for a higher fibrosis stage (aOR 2.77; 95% CI 1.01-7.59; p = .047).

CONCLUSION: Lifetime alcohol consumption with up to 13 units per week is associated with lower fibrosis stage in NAFLD. Elevated PEth is associated with higher stages of fibrosis.

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