25 August 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol and in particular red wine have both immunomodulatory and neuroprotective properties, and may exert an effect on the disease course of multiple sclerosis (MS).

OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between alcohol and red wine consumption and MS course.

METHODS: MS patients enrolled in the Comprehensive Longitudinal Investigation of Multiple Sclerosis at the Brigham and Women's Hospital (CLIMB) who completed a self-administered questionnaire about their past year drinking habits at a single time point were included in the study. Alcohol and red wine consumption were measured as servings/week. The primary outcome was the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) at the time of the questionnaire. Secondary clinical outcomes were the Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score (MSSS) and number of relapses in the year before the questionnaire. Secondary MRI outcomes included brain parenchymal fraction and T2 hyperintense lesion volume (T2LV). Appropriate regression models were used to test the association of alcohol and red wine intake on clinical and MRI outcomes. All analyses were controlled for sex, age, body mass index, disease phenotype (relapsing vs. progressive), the proportion of time on disease modifying therapy during the previous year, smoking exposure, and disease duration. In the models for the MRI outcomes, analyses were also adjusted for acquisition protocol.

RESULTS: 923 patients (74% females, mean age 47 +/- 11 years, mean disease duration 14 +/- 9 years) were included in the analysis. Compared to abstainers, patients drinking more than 4 drinks per week had a higher likelihood of a lower EDSS score (OR, 0.41; p = 0.0001) and lower MSSS (mean difference, - 1.753; p = 0.002) at the time of the questionnaire. Similarly, patients drinking more than 3 glasses of red wine per week had greater odds of a lower EDSS (OR, 0.49; p = 0.0005) and lower MSSS (mean difference, - 0.705; p = 0.0007) compared to nondrinkers. However, a faster increase in T2LV was observed in patients consuming 1-3 glasses of red wine per week compared to nondrinkers.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher total alcohol and red wine intake were associated with a lower cross-sectional level of neurologic disability in MS patients but increased T2LV accumulation. Further studies should explore a potential cause-effect neuroprotective relationship, as well as the underlying biological mechanisms

25 August 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND:AIMS: Gallstone disease (GSD) is a common gastrointestinal disorder. Clinical epidemiological studies revealed that alcohol consumption has a preventive effect on the development of GSD. This study aimed to evaluate the relative risks of drinking for GSD development and investigate the dose-response relationships.

METHODS: A systematic search of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases for studies published up to 2018 was performed. All studies that satisfied the following eligibility criteria were included: patients with GSD with or without cholecystitis; and cohort or case-control studies investigating the association between alcohol consumption and GSD development.

RESULTS: Sixteen case-control studies including 24,401 gallstone cases and 76,185 controls, and eight cohort studies with 14,693 GSD cases among 2,432,471 person-years were enrolled. Alcohol consumption presented a decreased overall risk of GSD (pooled relative ratio [RR], 0.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.79 to 0.89; p=0.02). Subgroup analyses according to drinking levels indicated a gradual risk reduction for GSD compared to nondrinkers (light: RR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94 to 0.99; p=0.75; moderate: RR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.75 to 0.85; p=0.27; high: RR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.56 to 0.79; p0.01). A nonlinear risk reduction was observed in a dose-response meta-analysis of all the studies (n=14, p0.01 for nonlinearity).

CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic review with meta-analysis, alcohol consumption could decrease the risk of GSD, and the dose-response analysis revealed a dose-dependent linear risk reduction and a weakened linear trend between alcohol consumption levels less than and greater than 28 g/day.

25 August 2020 In General Health

OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between alcohol drinking patterns and health-related quality of life (HRQL).

METHODS: Population-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 2008-2010 among 12,715 adult individuals in Spain. HRQL was assessed with the SF-12 questionnaire and alcohol intake with a diet history. The threshold between average moderate drinking and average heavy drinking was >/= 40 g/day of alcohol in men and >/= 24 g/day in women. Binge drinking was defined as the intake of >/= 80 g in men and >/= 60 g in women at any drinking session during the preceding 30 days. Analyses were performed with linear regression and adjusted for the main confounders.

RESULTS: Compared to non-drinkers, all types of average drinkers reported better scores on the SF-12 physical component: beta=1.42 (95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.81) in moderate drinkers and beta=1.86 (1.07 to 2.64) in heavy drinkers. In contrast, average alcohol consumption was not associated with the mental component of the SF-12. The number of binge drinking episodes and most types of beverage preference showed no association with physical or mental HRQL.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol drinkers, including those with heavy drinking, reported better physical HRQL than non-drinkers.

25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: The consumption of addictive substances is common in adolescence and raises concerns about future addiction. We investigated addictive substance consumption among young people to inform the design of drug intervention programmes.

METHODS: Participants were a population-based sample of 14- to 24-year-olds from Paredes, northern Portugal. A self-report questionnaire measured social and health variables, including tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug consumption. Results Data were analysed for 731 valid responses. Participants who had drunk alcohol did so first at 14.7 years (mean); 15.3% (95% confidence intervals [CI]: 12.9-18.1) drank alcohol regularly (more than 1/week, adjusted for age and sex) (95% CI: 12.9-18.1). Participants who had smoked tobacco did so first at 14.8 years (mean); 16.6% (95% CI: 14.0-19.5) were regular smokers. Illicit drug consumption was reported by 16.7% of participants (95% CI: 14.2-19.6) and 10.4% consumed drugs regularly.

CONCLUSION: We found a high prevalence of addictive substance consumption, particularly alcohol. As cultural attitudes likely influence alcohol consumption, a multigenerational approach is needed to address adolescent consumption. Participants' main sources of drug information were family members. Strategies are needed to promote drug literacy in parents and other relatives to change adolescents' culturally acquired habits of addictive substance consumption.

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