03 June 2019 In General Health

OBJECTIVE: Harmful use of alcohol represents a large socioeconomic and disease burden and displays a socioeconomic status (SES) gradient. Several alcohol control laws were devised and implemented, but their equity impact remains undetermined.We ascertained if an SES gradient in hazardous alcohol consumption exists in Geneva (Switzerland) and assessed the equity impact of the alcohol control laws implemented during the last two decades.

DESIGN: Repeated cross-sectional survey study.

SETTING: We used data from non-abstinent participants, aged 35-74 years, from the population-based cross-sectional Bus Sante study (n=16 725), between 1993 and 2014.

METHODS: SES indicators included educational attainment (primary, secondary and tertiary) and occupational level (high, medium and low). We defined four survey periods according to the implemented alcohol control laws and hazardous alcohol consumption (outcome variable) as >30 g/day for men and >20 g/day for women.The Slope Index of Inequality (SII) and Relative Index of Inequality (RII) were used to quantify absolute and relative inequalities, respectively, and were compared between legislative periods.

RESULTS: Lower educated men had a higher frequency of hazardous alcohol consumption (RII=1.87 (1.57; 2.22) and SII=0.14 (0.11; 0.17)). Lower educated women had less hazardous consumption ((RII=0.76 (0.60; 0.97)and SII=-0.04 (-0.07;-0.01]). Over time, hazardous alcohol consumption decreased, except in lower educated men.Education-related inequalities were observed in men in all legislative periods and did not vary between them. Similar results were observed using the occupational level as SES indicator. In women, significant inverse SES gradients were observed using educational attainment but not for occupational level.

CONCLUSIONS: Population-wide alcohol control laws did not have a positive equity impact on hazardous alcohol consumption. Targeted interventions to disadvantaged groups may be needed to address the hazardous alcohol consumption inequality gap.

26 February 2019 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

Reduction of excessive alcohol consumption still remains a significant challenge to the actions in the scope of public health of European citizens. The aim of this study is to present the prevalence of alcohol consumption and to estimate the occurrence of risky drinking among college students from the Polish, Slovak, Romanian, and Ukrainian parts of the Carpathian Euroregion, taking social contexts into account. The consumption of alcohol was estimated on the basis of the respondents' statements regarding the quantity and frequency of their consumption of beer, wine, and vodka. The study included people from the first year of undergraduate studies. The analysis used the Chi-square independence test and odds ratios (ORs). There were significant differences in the frequency of alcohol consumption, as well as the individual types consumed, among the respondents from the analyzed countries. Of the examined college students, 70% admit to occasional drinking. The pattern of dangerous alcohol consumption occurs in the case of approximately every seventh person. Risky drinking occurs with much greater frequency among male students rather than their female counterparts. In Romania, a very small percentage of female students engage in risky drinking. The analysis did not show statistically significant differences in the frequency of risky drinking between countries. The coexistence of other adverse health behaviors, such as smoking and alcohol abuse, was confirmed.

 

Reference/Source 

Zadarko-Domaradzka,M.; Barabasz,Z.; Sobolewski,M.; Niziol-Babiarz,E.; Penar-Zadarko,B.; Szybisty,A.; Zadarko,E.

Alcohol Consumption and Risky Drinking Patterns among College Students from Selected Countries of the Carpathian Euroregion

Biomed.Res.Int. 2018

26 February 2019 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: We aimed to understand the factors shaping alcohol consumption patterns in middle-aged women (45-64), and to identify participant-driven population- and policy-level strategies that may be used to addresses alcohol consumption and reduce breast cancer risk.

METHODS: Semi-structured interviews (n = 35) were conducted with 'middle-aged' women conversant in English and living in South Australia with no history of breast cancer diagnosis. Data were deductively coded using a co-developed framework including variables relevant to our study objectives. Women were asked about their current level of awareness of the association between alcohol and breast cancer risk, and their personal recommendations for how to decrease consumption in middle-aged Australian women.

RESULTS: Women discussed their previous efforts to decrease consumption, which we drew on to identify preliminary recommendations for consumption reduction. We identified a low level of awareness of alcohol and breast cancer risk, and confusion related to alcohol as a risk for breast cancer, but not always causing breast cancer. Participants suggested that education and awareness, through various means, may help to reduce consumption.

CONCLUSIONS: Participants' description of strategies used to reduce their own consumption lead us to suggest that campaigns might focus on the more salient and immediate effects of alcohol (e.g. on physical appearance and mental health) rather than longer-term consequences. Critical considerations for messaging include addressing the personal, physical and social pleasures that alcohol provides, and how these may differ across socio-demographics.

22 February 2019 In Liver Disease

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the longitudinal relationship between repeated measures of alcohol consumption and risk of developing fatty liver.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This study includes 5407 men and women from a British population-based cohort, the Whitehall II study of civil servants, who self-reported alcohol consumption by questionnaire over approximately 30 years (1985-1989 through to 2012-2013). Drinking typologies during midlife were linked to measures of fatty liver (the fatty liver index, FLI) when participants were in older age (age range 60-84 years) and adjusted for age, socio-economic position, ethnicity, and smoking.

RESULTS: Those who consistently drank heavily had two-fold higher odds of increased FLI compared to stable low-risk moderate drinkers after adjustment for covariates (men: OR = 2.04, 95%CI = 1.53-2.74; women: OR = 2.24, 95%CI = 1.08-4.55). Former drinkers also had an increased FLI compared to low-risk drinkers (men: OR = 2.09, 95%CI = 1.55-2.85; women: OR = 1.68, 95%CI = 1.08-2.67). There were non-significant differences in FLI between non-drinkers and stable low-risk drinkers. Among women, there was no increased risk for current heavy drinkers in cross sectional analyses.

CONCLUSION: Drinking habits among adults during midlife affect the development of fatty liver, and sustained heavy drinking is associated with an increased FLI compared to stable low-risk drinkers. After the exclusion of former drinkers, there was no difference between non-drinkers and low-risk drinkers, which does not support a protective effect on fatty liver from low-risk drinking. Cross-sectional analyses among women did not find an increased risk of heavy drinking compared to low-risk drinkers, thus highlighting the need to take a longitudinal approach.

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