25 October 2016 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Percent breast density (PBD) is a strong risk factor for breast cancer that is influenced by several other risk factors for the disease. Alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer with an uncertain association with PBD. We have carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the association of alcohol consumption with PBD.

METHODS: We searched nine databases to identify all relevant studies on the association between alcohol intake and breast density. Two independent investigators evaluated and selected 20 studies that were included in our analyses. We divided the studies into 3 groups according to the methods used to measure and analyze the association of BD with alcohol consumption.

RESULTS: Meta-analysis of the 11 studies that used quantitative methods to measure and analyse PBD as a continuous variable found a statistically significant difference in PBD when comparing the highest to the lowest alcohol level (beta = 0.84, 95% CI 0.12, 1.56). Three studies that used quantitative methods to measure PBD and categories of PBD for analysis had a summary odds ratio = 1.81 (95% CI: 1.07, 3.04). Five studies that used categories to classify PBD and analyse their association with alcohol intake had a summary odds ratio=1.78 (95% CI: 0.90, 3.51).

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that there is a positive association between alcohol intake and PBD. IMPACT: Alcohol may increase the risk of breast cancer associated with PMB.

21 September 2016 In General Health

Although excessive alcohol use and alcohol misuse contribute to a broad range of health problems, recent research indicates that moderate alcohol consumption may in fact be beneficial. The present study builds on previous research to investigate the associations between alcohol use and self-rated health status among young adults. Using data collected in 2008 from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), we use ordered probit models to determine whether the protective effects of moderate alcohol use are present after controlling for demographic, lifestyle, family background, and health-related characteristics. Our findings generally support earlier research with older samples, but some key gender differences are present. For women (n = 8275), moderate drinkers have better self-rated health status relative to former drinkers, infrequent drinkers, and light drinkers. Among men (n = 7207), the effects are mixed and less often significant. Differences in results between men and women point to the need for further gender-specific research and studies with other measures of health.

21 September 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

INTRODUCTION: The differential associations of beer, wine, and spirit consumption on cardiovascular risk found in observational studies may be confounded by diet. We described and compared dietary intake and diet quality according to alcoholic beverage preference in European elderly.

METHODS: From the Consortium on Health and Ageing: Network of Cohorts in Europe and the United States (CHANCES), seven European cohorts were included, i.e. four sub-cohorts from EPIC-Elderly, the SENECA Study, the Zutphen Elderly Study, and the Rotterdam Study. Harmonized data of 29,423 elderly participants from 14 European countries were analyzed. Baseline data on consumption of beer, wine, and spirits, and dietary intake were collected with questionnaires. Diet quality was assessed using the Healthy Diet Indicator (HDI). Intakes and scores across categories of alcoholic beverage preference (beer, wine, spirit, no preference, non-consumers) were adjusted for age, sex, socio-economic status, self-reported prevalent diseases, and lifestyle factors. Cohort-specific mean intakes and scores were calculated as well as weighted means combining all cohorts.

RESULTS: In 5 of 7 cohorts, persons with a wine preference formed the largest group. After multivariate adjustment, persons with a wine preference tended to have a higher HDI score and intake of healthy foods in most cohorts, but differences were small. The weighted estimates of all cohorts combined revealed that non-consumers had the highest fruit and vegetable intake, followed by wine consumers. Non-consumers and persons with no specific preference had a higher HDI score, spirit consumers the lowest. However, overall diet quality as measured by HDI did not differ greatly across alcoholic beverage preference categories.

DISCUSSION: This study using harmonized data from ~30,000 elderly from 14 European countries showed that, after multivariate adjustment, dietary habits and diet quality did not differ greatly according to alcoholic beverage preference.

21 September 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

AIMS: To assess temporal trends of adolescent alcohol use in Finland from 2000 to 2011, according to socio-economic status and depression.

METHODS: Classroom self-administered questionnaires concerning health, health behaviours and school experiences were administered biennially from 2000-2001 to 2010-2011 to nationwide samples of 14- to 16-year-olds (n = 618,084). Alcohol use was measured as the frequencies of drinking and drunkenness. Socioeconomic status was measured using parental education and unemployment. Depression was measured using a Finnish modification of the Beck Depression Inventory. Cross-tabulations and a logistic regression analysis were applied.

RESULTS: Over the study period, rates of frequent drinking and frequent drunkenness decreased among both boys and girls. Low levels of parental education and unemployment as well as adolescent depression increased the likelihoods of frequent drinking and drunkenness. Unlike the general decreasing trend observed for alcohol use, the likelihoods of frequent drinking and drunkenness increased among adolescents who were depressed and had unemployed parents with low levels of education. The prevalence of frequent drunkenness was 75.8% among the boys in this group during 2008-2011, whereas the corresponding prevalence was 2.3% for boys without depression and with highly educated, employed parents. The corresponding figures for girls were 41.7% and 1.4%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The overall decreasing trend in frequent alcohol use was not observed among socioeconomically deprived adolescents with depression. Thus, alcohol prevention programmes should treat these youth as special targets.

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