18 May 2018 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Findings from studies of alcohol and obesity measures (eg, waist circumference [WC] and body mass index [BMI; calculated as kg/m(2)]) are conflicting. Residual confounding by dietary intake, inconsistent definitions of alcohol consumption across studies, and the inclusion of former drinkers in the nondrinking comparison group can contribute to the mixed literature.

OBJECTIVE: This study examines associations of alcoholic beverage consumption with dietary intake, WC, and BMI.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional data from the 2003-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were analyzed.

PARTICIPANTS/SETTING: Adults 20 to 79 years of age (n=7,436 men; n=6,939 women) were studied.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Associations of alcoholic beverage consumption with energy (kcal), macronutrient and sugar intakes (% kcal), WC, and BMI were determined.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Multivariable linear regression models were used to determine associations of average daily volume and drinking quantity (ie, drinks per drinking day) with dietary intake and obesity measures. Former and never drinkers were analyzed as distinct categories; associations of drinking with WC and BMI were examined with and without adjustment for dietary intake variables.

RESULTS: Heavier-drinking men (>/=3 drinks/day) and women (>/=2 drinks/day) consumed less nonalcoholic energy (beta -252 kcal/day, 95% CI -346 to -159 kcal/day and beta -159 kcal/day, 95% CI -245 to -73 kcal/day, respectively) than moderate drinkers (1 to 2 drinks/day in men and 1 drink/day in women). By average daily drinking volume, differences in WC and BMI between former and moderate drinkers were +1.78 cm (95% CI 0.51 to 3.05 cm) and +0.65 (95% CI 0.12 to 1.18) in men and +4.67 cm (95% CI 2.95 to 6.39 cm) and +2.49 (95% CI 1.64 to 3.34) in women. Compared with moderate drinking, heavier drinking volume was not associated with WC or BMI among men or women. In men, drinking >/=5 drinks/drinking day was associated with higher WC (beta 3.48 cm, 95% CI 1.97 to 5.00 cm) and BMI (beta 1.39, 95% CI 0.79 to 2.00) compared with men who consumed 1 to 2 drinks/drinking day. In women, WC and BMI were not significantly different for women drinking >/=4 drinks/drinking day compared with 1 drink/drinking day.

CONCLUSIONS: Differences in dietary intake across drinking subgroups and separation of former drinkers from nondrinkers should be considered in studies of alcohol intake in relation to WC and BMI.

18 May 2018 In General Health

OBJECTIVES: The primary goal was to examine the relationship between alcohol use and frailty, a variable characterizing late-life decline, in a national, longitudinal survey of older adults living in the United States.

METHODS: The sample drawn from the Health and Retirement Study included 9,499 stroke-free participants over age 65 in 2000. The sample was 59.1% female, and had a mean age of 74.25 years (SD = 6.99). Follow-up data was from 2004, 2008, and 2012. Frailty was defined phenotypically using the Paulson-Lichtenberg Frailty Index (PLFI). Alcohol use was measured via self-report. Control variables included age, race, education, socio-economic status (SES), depressive symptomatology, medical burden score, body mass index (BMI), and partner status. With abstinent participants as the reference group, logistic regressions were conducted to determine prevalent frailty at 2000, and Cox's proportional hazard models were utilized to determine time to incident frailty over a 12-year period.

RESULTS: Results revealed that age, depressive symptomatology, and medical burden score were significant positive correlates of prevalent and incident frailty (p < .05) for both males and females. Logistic regressions revealed that consumption of 1-7 alcoholic drinks per week was associated with reduced prevalent frailty (OR = .49, p < .001) for females. Survival analysis results reveal that compared with nondrinkers, males and females who reportedly consumed 1-7 drinks per week had a decreased probability of incident frailty (HR = .78-081, p < .05).

CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that moderate alcohol use confers reduced frailty risk for both older men and women. Future research should examine the mechanism(s) relating alcohol consumption and frailty.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Findings support extant literature suggesting some healthcare benefits may be associated with moderate drinking.

18 May 2018 In General Health

BACKGROUND: We examined the associations of alcohol consumption and liver holidays with all-cause mortality and with mortality due to cancer, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, respiratory disease, and injury using a large-scale prospective study in Japan.

METHODS: We followed 102,849 Japanese who were aged between 40 and 69 years at baseline for 18.2 years on average, during which 15,203 deaths were reported. Associations between alcohol intake and mortality risk were assessed using a Cox proportional hazards model, with analysis by the number of liver holidays (in which a person abstains from drinking for several days a week).

RESULTS: A J-shaped association was observed between alcohol intake and total mortality in men (nondrinkers: reference; occasional drinkers: hazard ratio [HR] 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.68-0.80; 1-149 g/week: HR 0.76; 95% CI, 0.71-0.81; 150-299 g/week: HR 0.75; 95% CI, 0.70-0.80; 300-449 g/week: HR 0.84; 95% CI, 0.78-0.91; 450-599 g/week: HR 0.92; 95% CI, 0.83-1.01; and >/=600 g/week: HR 1.19; 95% CI, 1.07-1.32) and in women (nondrinkers: reference; occasional: HR 0.75; 95% CI, 0.70-0.82; 1-149 g/week: HR 0.80; 95% CI, 0.73-0.88; 150-299 g/week: HR 0.91; 95% CI, 0.74-1.13; 300-449 g/week: HR 1.04; 95% CI, 0.73-1.48; and >/=450 g/week: HR 1.59; 95% CI, 1.07-2.38). In current drinkers, alcohol consumption was associated with a linear, positive increase in mortality risk from all causes, cancer, and cerebrovascular disease in both men and women, but not heart disease in men. Taking of liver holidays was associated with a lower risk of cancer and cerebrovascular disease mortality in men.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol intake showed J-shaped associations with the risk of total mortality and three leading causes of death. However, heavy drinking increases the risk of mortality, which highlights the necessity of drinking in moderation coupled with liver holidays.

18 May 2018 In General Health
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and left ventricular (LV) function in a population with low average alcohol intake. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1296 healthy participants, free from cardiovascular diseases, were randomly selected from the third wave of the Norwegian HUNT study (2006-2008) and underwent echocardiography. After validation of the inclusion criteria, 30 participants were excluded due to arrhythmias or myocardial or valvular pathology. Alcohol consumption, sociodemographic and major cardiovascular risk factors were assessed by questionnaires and clinical examination in the HUNT3. General linear models were used to analyse the cross-sectional associations between alcohol intake and LV indices. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: LV functional and structural indices were measured with tissue Doppler and speckle tracking echocardiography. RESULTS: We observed no associations between alcohol consumption and multivariable-adjusted LV functional indices. Excluding abstainers who reported regular alcohol consumption 10 years prior to the baseline did not change the results. Alcohol consumption was positively associated with LV mass indices (p<0.01 for linear trend of the means); there was no such association among participants with non-risky drinking characteristics (p=0.67 for linear trend of the means). CONCLUSIONS: We found no clear evidence that light-moderate alcohol consumption is associated with measures of LV function, although our results indicate that consumption, especially when marked by binge drinking, is progressively associated with greater LV mass
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