22 March 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: Drinking in youth is linked to other risky behaviours, educational failure and premature death. Prior research has examined drinking in mid and late teenagers, but little is known about the factors that influence drinking at the beginning of adolescence. Objectives were: 1. to assess associations of parental and friends' drinking with reported drinking among 11 year olds; 2. to investigate the roles of perceptions of harm, expectancies towards alcohol, parental supervision and family relationships on reported drinking among 11 year olds.

METHODS: Analysis of data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study on 10498 11-year-olds. The outcome measure was having drank an alcoholic drink, self-reported by cohort members.

RESULTS: 13.6 % of 11 year olds reported having drank. Estimates reported are odds ratios and 95 % confidence intervals. Cohort members whose mothers drank were more likely to drink (light/moderate = 1.6, 1.3 to 2.0, heavy/binge = 1.8, 1.4 to 2.3). Cohort members whose fathers drank were also more likely to drink but these estimates lost statistical significance when covariates were adjusted for (light/moderate = 1.3, 0.9 to 1.9, heavy/binge = 1.3, 0.9 to 1.9). Having friends who drank was strongly associated with cohort member drinking (4.8, 3.9 to 5.9). Associated with reduced odds of cohort member drinking were: heightened perception of harm from 1-2 drinks daily (some = 0.9, 0.7 to 1.1, great = 0.6, 0.5 to 0.7); and negative expectancies towards alcohol (0.5, 0.4 to 0.7). Associated with increased odds of cohort member drinking were: positive expectancies towards alcohol (1.9, 1.4 to 2.5); not being supervised on weekends and weekdays (often = 1.2, 1.0 to 1.4); frequent battles of will (1.3, 1.1 to 1.5); and not being happy with family (1.2, 1.0 to 1.5).

CONCLUSIONS: Examining drinking at this point in the lifecourse has potentially important public health implications as around one in seven 11 year olds have drank, although the vast majority are yet to explore alcohol. Findings support interventions working at multiple levels that incorporate family and peer factors to help shape choices around risky behaviours including drinking.

22 March 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

PURPOSE: Heavy episodic (i.e., "binge") drinking (i.e., >/=five drinks/occasion) is highly prevalent among young adults; those who binge do so four times per month on average, consuming nine drinks on average on each occasion. Although it is well established that chronic heavy drinking (>/=two alcoholic beverages per day) increases the risk of hypertension, the relationship between binge drinking and blood pressure is not well described. Our aim was to describe the relationship between frequency of binge drinking, both current (at age 24 years) and past (at age 20 years), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) at age 24 years.

METHODS: Participants (n = 756) from the longitudinal Nicotine Dependence in Teens study reported alcohol consumption at ages 20 and 24 years and had SBP measured at age 24 years. We examined the association between binge drinking and SBP using multiple linear regression, controlling for sex, race/ethnicity, education, monthly drinking in high school, cigarette smoking, and body mass index.

RESULTS: Compared to nonbinge drinkers, SBP at age 24 years was 2.61 [.41, 4.82] mm Hg higher among current monthly bingers and 4.03 [1.35, 6.70] mm Hg higher among current weekly bingers. SBP at age 24 years was 2.90 [.54, 5.25] mm Hg higher among monthly bingers at age 20 years and 3.64 [.93, 6.35] mm Hg higher among weekly bingers at age 20 years, compared to nonbinge drinkers.

CONCLUSIONS: Frequent binge drinking at ages 20 and 24 years is associated with higher SBP at age 24 years and may be implicated in the development of hypertension.

22 March 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: Epidemiological research on alcohol-related harm has long given priority to studies on harm to the drinker. A limitation with this perspective is that it neglects the harm drinking causes to people around the drinker, and thus, it fails to give a full picture of alcohol-related harm in society.

AIM: The aim was to compare the prevalence and correlates of experiencing harm from the heavy drinking by family and friends across the Nordic countries and Scotland and to discuss whether potential differences match levels of drinking, prevalence of binge drinking, and alcohol-related mortality.

DATA AND METHOD: Data from recent national general population surveys with similar questions on experiences of harms from the drinking of family and friends were collected from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Scotland.

RESULTS: National estimates of the overall population prevalence of harm from the drinking of family and friends ranged from 14% to 28% across these countries, with the highest prevalence in Finland, Iceland, and Norway and lower estimates for Denmark, Sweden, and Scotland. Across all countries, the prevalence of harm from heavy drinking by family and friends was significantly higher among women and young respondents.

CONCLUSION: This study revealed large differences in the prevalence of harm across the study countries, as well as by gender and age, but the differences do not match the variation in population drinking and other indicators of harm. The implications of the findings for future research are discussed.

24 February 2016 In Cancer

IMPORTANCE: Breast cancer is the leading cause of female cancer burden, and its incidence has increased by more than 20% worldwide since 2008. Some observational studies have suggested that the Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of 2 interventions with Mediterranean diet vs the advice to follow a low-fat diet (control) on breast cancer incidence.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The PREDIMED study is a 1:1:1 randomized, single-blind, controlled field trial conducted at primary health care centers in Spain. From 2003 to 2009, 4282 women aged 60 to 80 years and at high cardiovascular disease risk were recruited after invitation by their primary care physicians.

INTERVENTIONS: Participants were randomly allocated to a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts, or a control diet (advice to reduce dietary fat).

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Breast cancer incidence was a prespecified secondary outcome of the trial for women without a prior history of breast cancer (n = 4152).

RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 4.8 years, we identified 35 confirmed incident cases of breast cancer. Observed rates (per 1000 person-years) were 1.1 for the Mediterranean diet with extra-virgin olive oil group, 1.8 for the Mediterranean diet with nuts group, and 2.9 for the control group. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios vs the control group were 0.32 (95% CI, 0.13-0.79) for the Mediterranean diet with extra-virgin olive oil group and 0.59 (95% CI, 0.26-1.35) for the Mediterranean diet with nuts group. In analyses with yearly cumulative updated dietary exposures, the hazard ratio for each additional 5% of calories from extra-virgin olive oil was 0.72 (95% CI, 0.57-0.90).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This is the first randomized trial finding an effect of a long-term dietary intervention on breast cancer incidence. Our results suggest a beneficial effect of a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil in the primary prevention of breast cancer. These results come from a secondary analysis of a previous trial and are based on few incident cases and, therefore, need to be confirmed in longer-term and larger studies.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN.org Identifier: ISRCTN35739639

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