01 February 2017 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

This study examined cross-national similarities in a developmental model linking early age of alcohol use onset to frequent drinking and heavy drinking and alcohol problems 1 and 2 years later in a binational sample of 13-year-old students from two states: Washington State, USA and Victoria, Australia (N = 1833). A range of individual, family, school, and peer influences was included in analyses to investigate their unique and shared contribution to development of early and more serious forms of alcohol use and harms from misuse. Data were collected annually over a 3-year period from ages 13 to 15. Analyses were conducted using multiple-group structural equation modeling. For both states, early use of alcohol predicted frequent drinking, which predicted alcohol problems. Family protective influences had neither direct effects on heavy drinking nor effects on alcohol harm in either state, whereas school protection directly reduced the risk of heavy drinking in both states. Exposure to antisocial peers and siblings predicted a higher likelihood of heavy drinking and alcohol harm for students in both Washington and Victoria. Implications for the prevention of adolescent alcohol problems are discussed.

01 February 2017 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: We examined whether alcohol flushing could be used as an instrumental variable (IV) and investigated the effect of alcohol consumption on coronary calcification using alcohol flushing status as an IV.

METHODS: We analysed cross-sectional data from 24 681 Korean adults (20 696 men and 3985 women) who had been administered a questionnaire assessing alcohol consumption and alcohol flushing, as well as a coronary artery calcium (CAC) measurement. The associations of alcohol flushing status with potential confounders and alcohol consumption were examined. We employed two-stage predictor substitution methodology for the IV analysis.

RESULTS: The prevalence of alcohol flushing did not differ depending on gender, education, household income, cigarette smoking or physical activity. Balanced levels of confounders were observed between alcohol flushers and non-flushers. Alcohol flushing was closely related to alcohol consumption and levels of liver enzymes. In men, a doubling in alcohol consumption was associated with increased odds of coronary calcification in both the IV analysis [odds ratio (OR) of CAC scores of 1 or over = 1.11; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03-1.20) and the multivariable regression analysis (OR = 1.04; 95% CI = 1.01-1.07). For cardiovascular risk factors, the IV analysis showed a positive association between alcohol consumption and blood pressure and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol flushing can be used as an IV in studies evaluating the health impact of alcohol consumption, especially in East Asian countries. Through such an analysis, we found that increased alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis.

01 February 2017 In Cancer

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified many genetic susceptibility loci for colorectal cancer (CRC). However, variants in these loci explain only a small proportion of familial aggregation, and there are likely additional variants that are associated with CRC susceptibility. Genome-wide studies of gene-environment interactions may identify variants that are not detected in GWAS of marginal gene effects. To study this, we conducted a genome-wide analysis for interaction between genetic variants and alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking using data from the Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR) and the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO). Interactions were tested using logistic regression. We identified interaction between CRC risk and alcohol consumption and variants in the 9q22.32/HIATL1 (Pinteraction = 1.76x10-8; permuted p-value 3.51x10-8) region. Compared to non-/occasional drinking light to moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer among individuals with rs9409565 CT genotype (OR, 0.82 [95% CI, 0.74-0.91]; P = 2.1x10-4) and TT genotypes (OR,0.62 [95% CI, 0.51-0.75]; P = 1.3x10-6) but not associated among those with the CC genotype (p = 0.059). No genome-wide statistically significant interactions were observed for smoking. If replicated our suggestive finding of a genome-wide significant interaction between genetic variants and alcohol consumption might contribute to understanding colorectal cancer etiology and identifying subpopulations with differential susceptibility to the effect of alcohol on CRC risk.

25 October 2016 In Cancer

OBJECTIVE: To determine the association of prediagnostic alcohol consumption with long-term mortality from breast cancer and other causes in a cohort of women with breast cancer.

METHODS: We studied a Michigan-based cohort of 939 women aged 40-84 years, who provided complete information about the type, amount and intensity of prediagnostic alcohol consumption. Associations of alcohol consumption, based on weekly volume of alcohol consumption during the year prior to breast cancer diagnosis, with mortality were evaluated in Cox proportional hazards models, with adjustment for sociodemographic factors, body mass index, smoking, comorbidity, tumor characteristics, and treatment. Differences among covariates were assessed with Pearson chi2 , Student t -tests and Wilcoxon Rank Sum tests. All statistical tests were two-sided.

RESULTS: During a median follow-up of 11 years, 724 deaths occurred overall, with 303 from breast cancer. Fifty-five percent of the women were categorized as drinkers with volume of alcohol consumption ranging from 0.75 to 36.00 drinks/week. In multivariable models, a decreased risk of other-cause mortality was associated with low alcohol drinking (0.75-3.75 drinks/week; HR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.47-0.78), moderate volume alcohol drinking (4.00-9.75 drinks/week; HR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.39-0.85) and low frequency (0.75-3.75 drinks/week) beer and wine intake (HR = 0.69, 95% CI = 0.50-0.96 and HR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.52-0.88 respectively). Although the risk of breast cancer-specific mortality was not statistically significantly associated with moderate (4.00-9.75 drinks/week) and high volume (10.00-36.00 drinks/week) alcohol drinking in the overall cohort (HR = 1.43, 95% CI = 95% 0.97-2.12 and HR = 1.53, 95% CI = 0.87-2.70 respectively), there was a positive association of alcohol consumption with breast cancer-specific mortality among current smokers (HR = 1.92, 95% CI = 1.03-3.57; Pinteraction = 0.04).

CONCLUSION: In this prospective cohort study, regular consumption of 0.75-36.00 alcoholic drinks per week during the year prior to breast cancer diagnosis was associated with a reduction in other-cause mortality and with an increase in breast cancer-specific mortality among current smokers, after taking into account clinical and sociodemographic factors.

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