04 May 2020 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND/AIM: The association between alcohol consumption and subclinical atherosclerosis is still unclear. Using data from a European multicentre study, we assess subclinical atherosclerosis and its 30-month progression by carotid intima-media thickness (C-IMT) measurements, and correlate this information with self-reported data on alcohol consumption.

METHODS: Between 2002-2004, 1772 men and 1931 women aged 54-79 years with at least three risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) were recruited in Italy, France, Netherlands, Sweden, and Finland. Self-reported alcohol consumption, assessed at baseline, was categorized as follows: none (0 g/d), very-low (0 - 5 g/d), low (> 5 to 10 to 10 to 20 g/d for women, > 30 g/d for men). C-IMT was measured in millimeters at baseline and after 30 months. Measurements consisted of the mean and maximum values of the common carotids (CC), internal carotid artery (ICA), and bifurcations (Bif) and whole carotid tree. We used quantile regression to describe the associations between C-IMT measures and alcohol consumption categories, adjusting for sex, age, physical activity, education, smoking, diet, and latitude.

RESULTS: Adjusted differences between median C-IMT values in different levels of alcohol consumption (vs. very-low) showed that moderate alcohol consumption was associated with lower C-IMTmax[- 0.17(95%CI - 0.32; - 0.02)], and Bif-IMTmean[- 0.07(95%CI - 0.13; - 0.01)] at baseline and decreasing C-IMTmean[- 0.006 (95%CI - 0.011; - 0.000)], Bif-IMTmean[- 0.016(95%CI - 0.027; - 0.005)], ICA-IMTmean[- 0.009(95% - 0.016; - 0.002)] and ICA-IMTmax[- 0.016(95%: - 0.032; - 0.000)] after 30 months. There was no evidence of departure from linearity in the association between alcohol consumption and C-IMT.

CONCLUSION: In this European population at high risk of CVD, findings show an inverse relation between moderate alcohol consumption and carotid subclinical atherosclerosis and its 30-month progression, independently of several potential confounders.

27 March 2020 In Cancer

Alcohol drinking is a risk factor for cancer. The degree of risk is increased in subjects showing the flushing response, which is due to aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) polymorphism. The attributable risk of alcohol drinking for cancer in Japan has not been sufficiently investigated with consideration of flushing response. We followed 78,825 Japanese in JPHC study cohort II. The association between alcohol consumption and cancer incidence was assessed according to self-reported flushing response using Cox proportional hazards regression models. The population-attributable fraction (PAF) of cancer incidence was also estimated. During 1993-2013 (average follow-up, 16.8 years), 8486 incident cancers (included 4386 alcohol-related cancers) were reported. Half of men and 36% of women had flushing response. In men with flushing response, moderate or higher alcohol drinking increased the risk of alcohol-related cancers compared with non-drinkers (150-299 g/week, HR 1.63, 95% CI, 1.43-1.99; 300-449 g/week, HR 2.02 95% CI, 1.67-2.44; >/=450 g/week, HR 1.75, 95% CI, 1.39-2.21). When flushing response was considered in comparisons between non-drinkers and non-flushers, non-flushing heavy drinkers had a slightly higher PAF than flushers (all cancers: flushers, 2.0% and non-flushers, 2.2%; alcohol-related cancers: flushers, 3.8% and non-flushers, 5.8%). Although the risk of alcohol-related cancer in men with flushing response increased with increasing alcohol consumption, heavy drinkers were also at high risk regardless of flushing response. Considering the PAF of alcohol consumption on cancer, efforts to discourage heavy alcohol consumption to reduce the incidence of alcohol-related cancers appear warranted regardless of flushing response.

26 November 2019 In General Health

BACKGROUND: The Mediterranean diet (MD) has been reported to be associated with lower cancer risk. However, while previous studies explored major single components of the MD, only 1 previous study has investigated adherence to the MD in relation to melanoma risk.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore the relations between adherence to the MD and the risk of skin cancer, including melanomas, basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs).

DESIGN: Etude Epidemiologique aupres de femmes de la Mutuelle Generale de l'Education Nationale (E3N) is a prospective cohort of 98,995 French women aged 40-65 y in 1990. Dietary data were collected via a validated food questionnaire in 1993. Adherence to the MD was assessed using a 9-unit dietary score that incorporates intakes of fruit, vegetables, legumes, cereal products, olive oil, fish, dairy products, meat products, and alcohol. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to compute HRs and 95% CIs adjusted for age and main known skin cancer risk factors.

RESULTS: From 1993 to 2008, a total of 2003 skin cancer cases were ascertained among 67,332 women, including 404 melanomas, 1367 BCCs, and 232 SCCs. Score of adherence to the MD was associated with lower risk of skin cancer (HR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.73, 0.93 for high compared with low score, Ptrend = 0.001). MD score was also inversely and linearly associated with risks of melanoma (HR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.54, 0.96; Ptrend = 0.02) and BCC (HR: 0.77; 95% CI: 0.66, 0.90; Ptrend = 0.0006) but not SCC (HR: 1.08; 95% CI: 0.75, 1.55; Ptrend = 0.68), although with no heterogeneity across skin cancer types (Pheterogeneity = 0.23).

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that adherence to the MD is associated with a lower skin cancer risk in women, particularly melanoma and BCC. If confirmed in future research, these findings may have important implications in skin cancer prevention.

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