23 September 2021 In General Health

AIM: To evaluate the relationship between habitual alcohol consumption and the risk of falls hospitalization.

METHODS: The EPIC-Norfolk is a prospective population-based cohort study in Norfolk, UK. In total, 25 637 community dwelling adults aged 40-79 years were recruited. Units of alcohol consumed per week were measured using a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire. The main outcome was the first hospital admission following a fall.

RESULTS: Over a median follow-up period of 11.5 years (299 211 total person years), the cumulative incidence function (95% confidence interval) of hospitalized falls at 121-180 months for non-users, light (>0 to 7 to 28 units/week) were 11.08 (9.94-12.35), 7.53 (7.02-8.08), 5.91 (5.29-6.59) and 8.20 (6.35-10.56), respectively. Moderate alcohol consumption was independently associated with a reduced risk of falls hospitalization after adjustment for most major confounders (hazard ratio = 0.88; 95% confidence interval 0.79-0.99). The relationship between light alcohol consumption and falls hospitalization was attenuated by gender differences. Alcohol intake higher than the recommended threshold of 28 units/week was associated with an increased risk of falls hospitalization (hazard ratio 1.40 [1.14-1.73]).

CONCLUSIONS: Moderate alcohol consumption appears to be associated with a reduced risk of falls hospitalization, and intake above the recommended limit is associated with an increased risk. This provides incentive to limit alcohol consumption within the recommended range and has important implications for public health policies for aging populations. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2021; 21: 657-663.

26 May 2021 In General Health
BACKGROUND: The existing findings of the longitudinal impact of low-to-moderate drinking on symptomatic depression were controversial, as results ranged from finding no association to finding both a protective and adverse association. METHODS: The present study examined the association between low-to-moderate alcohol consumption and incident depressive symptoms by pooled analysis of three European, American and Chinese representative samples of middle-aged and older adults. RESULTS: A total of 29,506 participants (55.5% female) were included. During 278,782 person-years of follow-up, we found that subjects with low-to-moderate drinking had a significantly lower incidence of depressive symptoms compared to never-drinking subjects, with pooled hazard ratios of 0.87 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.79-0.96) for men and 0.87 (95% CI: 0.80-0.95) for women, whereas heavy drinkers failed to show significantly higher risk of depressive symptoms. Furthermore, a J-shaped relation between alcohol consumption and incident depressive symptoms was identified in Chinese men, US men, and UK men and women. LIMITATIONS: The classification of depressive symptoms based on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale may not be completely comparable to diagnosis from a clinical setting. CONCLUSIONS: Low-to-moderate alcohol consumption was significantly associated with a lower risk of depressive symptoms on a long-term basis compared to never drinking. Our results support the threshold of moderate drinking in current US guidelines. However, caution should be exercised in engaging in guideline-concordant drinking habits, for even moderate drinkers are at risk of developing heavy drinking habits and experiencing future alcohol-related problems.
21 April 2021 In Cancer

Stomach cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. The relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of stomach cancer remains unclear. Epidemiology studies investigating this relationship have shown inconsistent findings.

A meta-analysis was performed to explore the association between alcohol consumption and increased stomach cancer risk. Eighty-one epidemiology studies, including 68 case-control studies and 13 cohort studies, were included in this study. A significant association was found between alcohol consumption and increased risk of stomach cancer (OR = 1.20, 95% CI 1.12-1.27).

To explore the source of the significant heterogeneity (p < 0.05, I(2) = 86%), analysis was stratified by study type (case-control study and cohort study), control type (hospital-based control and population-based control), gender (male, female, and mix), race (White and Asian), region (United States, Sweden, China, Japan), subsite of stomach cancer, and type of alcohol. The stratified analyses found that region and cancer subsite are major sources of the high heterogeneity.

The inconsistent results in different regions and different subsites might be related to smoking rates, Helicobacter pylori infection, obesity, and potential genetic susceptibility. The positive association between drinking and increased risk of stomach cancer is consistent in stratified analyses. The dose-response analysis showed a clear trend that a higher daily intake of alcohol is associated with a higher risk of stomach cancer.

24 March 2021 In Cancer
Alcohol drinking is associated with increased risks of several site-specific cancers, but its role in many other cancers remains inconclusive. Evidence is more limited from China, where cancer rates, drinking patterns and alcohol tolerability differ importantly from Western populations. The prospective China Kadoorie Biobank recruited >512,000 adults aged 30-79 years from ten diverse areas during 2004-2008, recording alcohol consumption patterns by a standardised questionnaire. Self-reported alcohol consumption was estimated as grams of pure alcohol per week based on beverage type, amount consumed per occasion, and drinking frequency. After ten years of follow-up, 26,961 individuals developed cancer. Cox regression was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) relating alcohol consumption to incidence of site-specific cancers. Overall, 33% (n=69,734) of men drank alcohol regularly (i.e. >/=weekly) at baseline. Among male current regular drinkers, alcohol intake showed positive dose-response associations with risks of cancers in the oesophagus (655 events; HR=1.98 [95%CI 1.79-2.18], per 280g/week), mouth and throat (236; 1.74 [1.48-2.05]), liver (573; 1.52 [1.31-1.76]), colon-rectum (575; 1.19 [1.00-1.43]), gallbladder (107; 1.60 [1.16-2.22]), and lung (1017; 1.25 [1.10-1.42]), similarly among never- and ever-regular smokers. After adjustment for total alcohol intake, there were greater risks of oesophageal cancer in daily than non-daily drinkers, and of liver cancer when drinking without meals. The risks of oesophageal cancer and lung cancer were greater in men reporting flushing after drinking than not. In this male population, alcohol drinking accounted for 7% of cancer cases. Among women, only 2% drank regularly, with no clear associations between alcohol consumption and cancer risk. Among Chinese men, alcohol drinking is associated with increased risks of cancer at multiple sites, with certain drinking patterns (e.g. daily, drinking without meals) and low alcohol tolerance further exacerbating the risks.
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