15 December 2016 In Diabetes
Background Although alcohol consumption is commonly encountered in clinical practice, few studies have investigated the clinical significance of alcohol intake on the use of the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level. Objectives This study was performed to investigate the association between alcohol intake and HbA1c level in the general population. Methods Among the 24,594 participants who participated in the 2011-2013 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), 12,923 participants were analyzed in this study. We excluded diabetic patients currently taking antidiabetes medication. We compared the HbA1c level and proportions of patients with an HbA1c level of =5.7%, =6.1%, and =6.5% according to the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) concentration range and the amount of alcohol intake. The average amounts of daily alcohol intake were categorized into three groups: 0 g/day, <30 g/day, =30 g/day. Results The mean HbA1c level was 5.65%, and the mean FPG concentration was 95.3 mg/dl. The percentages of patients with an HbA1c level of =5.7%, =6.1%, and =6.5% were 42.6%, 13.4%, and 4.5%, respectively. The average amount of alcohol intake was 12.3 g/day. The percentages of subjects with alcohol intake 0, <30, and = 30 g/day were 16.5%, 69.7%, and 13.8%, respectively.There was a significant positive relationship between alcohol intake and FPG concentration (P < 0.001), the prevalence of impaired fasting glucose (P < 0.001), and the prevalence of diabetes (P < 0.001). However, there was no significant relationship between the alcohol intake and HbA1c level.Overall, the adjusted HbA1c levels decreased across alcohol intake (5.70% ± 0.01%, 5.66% ± 0.01%, and 5.55% ± 0.01%) after adjustment for confounding factors such as age, sex, FPG concentration, college graduation, smoking history, presence of hypertension, waist circumference, serum total cholesterol concentration, serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration, serum triglyceride concentration, presence of anemia, serum white blood cell count, and serum alanine aminotransferase concentration (P < 0.001). The adjusted proportions (%) of patients with an HbA1c level of =5.7% (P < 0.001), =6.1% (P < 0.001), and =6.5% (P < 0.001) showed significant negative trends across alcohol intake after adjustment for confounders. Logistic regression analyses showed that, when using the group that abstained as the control, the group that consumed = 30g/day was negatively associated with the risk of an HbA1c level of =5.7% (P < 0.001), =6.1% (P < 0.001), and =6.5% (P < 0.001), using the above-mentioned variables as covariates. Conclusions Higher alcohol intake was associated with lower HbA1c levels, even after adjusting for confounding factors, including the FPG concentration, in this nationally representative sample of Korean adults. These results suggest that excessive drinking shifts the HbA1c level downward, which might complicate use of the HbA1c level for the diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes.
15 December 2016 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol is popular in Western culture, supported by a perception that modest intake is cardioprotective. However, excessive drinking has detrimental implications for cardiovascular disease. Atrial fibrillation (AF) following an alcohol binge or the "holiday heart syndrome" is well characterized. However, more modest levels of alcohol intake on a regular basis may also increase the risk of AF. The pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for the relationship between alcohol and AF may include direct toxicity and alcohol's contribution to obesity, sleep-disordered breathing, and hypertension. We aim to provide a comprehensive review of the epidemiology and pathophysiology by which alcohol may be responsible for AF and determine whether alcohol abstinence is required for patients with AF.

27 October 2016 In Diabetes

OBJECTIVE: To generate evidence-based conclusions about the effect of wine consumption on weight gain and abdominal fat accumulation and distribution in patients with type 2 diabetes.

DESIGN: In the 2-year randomized controlled CASCADE (CArdiovaSCulAr Diabetes & Ethanol) trial, patients following a Mediterranean diet were randomly assigned to drink 150 ml of mineral water, white wine or red wine with dinner for 2 years. Visceral adiposity and abdominal fat distribution were measured in a subgroup of sixty-five participants, using abdominal MRI.

SETTING: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Soroka-Medical Center and the Nuclear Research Center Negev, Israel.

SUBJECTS: Alcohol-abstaining adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes.

RESULTS: Forty-eight participants (red wine, n 27; mineral water, n 21) who completed a second MRI measurement were included in the 2-year analysis. Similar weight losses (sd) were observed: red wine 1.3 (3.9) kg; water 1.0 (4.2) kg (P=0.8 between groups). Changes (95 % CI) in abdominal adipose-tissue distribution were similar: red wine, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) -3.0 (-8.0, 2.0) %, deep subcutaneous adipose tissue (DSAT) +5.2 (-1.1, 11.6) %, superficial subcutaneous adipose tissue (SSAT) -1.9 (-5.0, 1.2) %; water, VAT -3.2 (-8.9, 2.5) %, DSAT +2.9 (-2.8, 8.6) %, SSAT -0.15 (-3.3, 2.9) %. No changes in antidiabetic medication and no substantial changes in energy intake (+126 (sd 2889) kJ/d (+30.2 (sd 690) kcal/d), P=0.8) were recorded. A 2-year decrease in glycated Hb (beta=0.28, P=0.05) was associated with a decrease in VAT.

CONCLUSIONS: Moderate wine consumption, as part of a Mediterranean diet, in persons with controlled diabetes did not promote weight gain or abdominal adiposity.

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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