21 September 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: Parental drinking has been shown to be associated with offspring drinking. However, the relationship appears to be more complex than often assumed and few studies have tracked it over longer time periods. AIMS: To explore the long-term (10-year) transmission of familial drinking during adolescence to offspring drinking patterns in young adulthood.

DESIGN: Swedish longitudinal study, assessing the relationship between familial drinking in 2000 and offspring drinking in 2010 using simultaneous quantile regression analysis (n=744). DATA: Data on familial drinking was gathered from the Swedish level-of-living surveys (LNU) and from partner LNU in 2000 while data on offspring drinking in young adulthood was gathered from LNU 2010. Drinking among offspring, parents and potential stepparents was measured through identical quantity-frequency indices referring to the past 12 months in 2010 and 2000 respectively.

RESULTS: Young adults whose families were abstainers in 2000 drank substantially less across quintiles in 2010 than offspring of non-abstaining families. The difference, however, was not statistically significant between quintiles of the conditional distribution. Actual drinking levels in drinking families were not at all or weakly associated with drinking in offspring. Supplementary analyses confirmed these patterns.

CONCLUSION: The association between familial drinking and offspring drinking in young adulthood exhibits clear non-linear trends. Changes in the lower part of the familial drinking distribution are strongly related to drinking in young adults, but the actual levels of drinking in drinking families appear less important in shaping the drinking patterns of the offspring in young adulthood.

02 August 2016 In Liver Disease
BACKGROUND: Fatty liver (hepatic steatosis) is one of the most common diseases globally, with increasing prevalence. The role of alcohol consumption in the development of hepatic steatosis has not been systematically examined. METHODS: We searched Medline, Embase, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global for original data on the relationship between alcohol consumption and hepatic steatosis measured by non-invasive imagery, excluding studies conducted in participants
02 August 2016 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that moderate alcohol consumption may protect against cognitive decline and dementia. However, uncertainty remains over the patterns of drinking that are most beneficial.

OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between amount and frequency of alcohol consumption with multiple domains of cognitive function in a well-characterized cohort of older community-dwelling adults in southern California.

DESIGN: Observational, cross-sectional cohort study.

SETTING: A research visit between 1988-1992 in Rancho Bernardo, California.

PARTICIPANTS: 1624 participants of the Rancho Bernardo Study (mean age +/- SD = 73.2 +/- 9.3 years). Measurements: Participants completed a neuropsychological test battery, self-administered questionnaires on alcohol consumption and lifestyle, and a clinical health evaluation. We classified participants according to average amount of alcohol intake into never, former, moderate, heavy and excessive drinkers, and according to frequency of alcohol intake, into non-drinkers, rare, infrequent, frequent and daily drinkers. We examined the association between alcohol intake and cognitive function, controlling for age, sex, education, exercise, smoking, waist-hip ratio, hypertension and self-assessed health.

RESULTS: Amount and frequency of alcohol intake were significantly associated with cognitive function, even after controlling for potentially related health and lifestyle variables. Global and executive function showed positive linear associations with amount and frequency of alcohol intake, whereas visual memory showed an inverted U-shaped association with alcohol intake, with better performance for moderate and infrequent drinkers than for non-drinkers, excessive drinkers or daily drinkers.

CONCLUSIONS: In several cognitive domains, moderate, regular alcohol intake was associated with better cognitive function relative to not drinking or drinking less frequently. This suggests that beneficial cognitive effects of alcohol intake may be achieved with low levels of drinking that are unlikely to be associated with adverse effects in an aging population.

17 May 2016 In Cancer

The objective of this study was to outline the biological pathways of alcohol-attributable breast cancer, the epidemiological risk relationship between alcohol consumption and breast cancer, and the global burden of breast cancer incidence and mortality attributable to alcohol consumption, with a focus on light drinking. First, the literature regarding the biological mechanisms of how alcohol affects the risk of breast cancer was reviewed and summarized. Second, a search of meta-analyses that evaluated the risk relationship between alcohol consumption and breast cancer was conducted. Last, the burden of alcohol-attributable breast cancer incidence and mortality was estimated by means of a Population-Attributable Fraction methodology. Data on alcohol consumption were obtained from the Global Information System on Alcohol and Health, and data on cancer incidence and mortality were obtained from the GLOBOCAN database. Alcohol consumption affects breast cancer risk through the alteration in hormone levels and the associated biological pathways, the metabolism of ethanol resulting in carcinogens, and the inhibition of the one carbon metabolism pathway. The systematic review found 15 meta-analyses on the risk relationship between alcohol consumption (also light consumption) and the risk of breast cancer. All but 2 of these analyses showed a dose-response relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of breast cancer. An estimated 144,000 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 88,000 to 200,000) breast cancer cases and 38,000 (95% CI: 2,400 to 53,000) breast cancer deaths globally in 2012 were attributable to alcohol, with 18.8% of these cases and 17.5% of these deaths affecting women who were light alcohol consumers. All levels of evidence showed a risk relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of breast cancer, even at low levels of consumption. Due to this strong relationship, and to the amount of alcohol consumed globally, the incidence of and mortality from alcohol-attributable breast cancer is large.

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