26 January 2022 In Cancer
Evidence on the impact of diet, alcohol, body-mass index (BMI), and physical activity on mortality due to cancer and other cancer-related outcomes is still scarce. Herein, we reviewed the contribution of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study to the current state of the art on the role of these factors in cancer mortality. We identified 45 studies using a rapid systematic review methodology. Dietary factors associated with reduced cancer mortality included raw vegetable intake; dietary fiber intake; the Mediterranean diet; other dietary scores; other diet patterns including low meat eaters, vegetarians/vegans, or fish eaters; dietary intake (or biomarkers) of some vitamins (e.g., vitamin D, vitamin K2, or Vitamin C); and intake of lignans. Physical activity and following healthy lifestyle recommendations also reduced cancer mortality risk. In contrast, dietary factors associated with higher cancer mortality risk included poor diet quality, consumption of alcohol and soft drinks including juice, and, to a lesser extent, intake of some fatty acids. Excess weight and obesity also increased the risk of cancer mortality. The EPIC study holds valuable information on diet and lifestyle factors and offers a unique opportunity to identify key diet-related factors for cancer mortality prevention.
17 November 2021 In Drinking Patterns

This paper explores trends in beverage preference in adolescents, identifies related regional differences, and examines cluster differences in key drinking measures. Data were obtained from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), covering 24 European countries between 1999 and 2019. Trends in the distribution of alcoholic beverages on the participants' most recent drinking occasion were analysed by sex and country using fractional multinomial logit regression. Clusters of countries based on trends and predicted beverage proportions were compared regarding the prevalence of drinkers, mean alcohol volume and prevalence of heavy drinking. Four distinct clusters each among girls and boys emerged. Among girls, there was not one type of beverage that was preferred across clusters, but the proportion of cider/alcopops strongly increased over time in most clusters. Among boys, the proportion of beer decreased, but was dominant across time in all clusters. Only northern European countries formed a geographically defined region with the highest prevalence of heavy drinking and average alcohol volume in both genders. Adolescent beverage preferences are associated with mean alcohol volume and heavy drinking at a country-level. Future approaches to drinking cultures need to take subpopulations such as adolescents into account.

22 October 2021 In Cardiovascular System

Postmenopausal women are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases due to changes in lipid profile and body fat, among others. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of urinary tartaric acid, a biomarker of wine consumption, with anthropometric (weight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), and waist-to-height ratio), blood pressure, and biochemical variables (blood glucose and lipid profile) that may be affected during the menopausal transition.

This sub-study of the PREDIMED (Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea) trial included a sample of 230 women aged 60-80 years with high cardiovascular risk at baseline. Urine samples were diluted and filtered, and tartaric acid was analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS).

Correlations between tartaric acid and the study variables were adjusted for age, education level, smoking status, physical activity, BMI, cholesterol-lowering, antihypertensive, and insulin treatment, total energy intake, and consumption of fruits, vegetables, and raisins.

A strong association was observed between wine consumption and urinary tartaric acid (0.01 mug/mg (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.01, 0.01), p-value < 0.001). Total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were inversely correlated with urinary tartaric acid (-3.13 mug/mg (-5.54, -0.71), p-value = 0.016 and -3.03 mug/mg (-5.62, -0.42), p-value = 0.027, respectively), whereas other biochemical and anthropometric variables were unrelated. The results suggest that wine consumption may have a positive effect on cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women, underpinning its nutraceutical properties.

21 July 2021 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Acute and chronic alcohol abuse has adverse impacts on both the innate and adaptive immune response, which may result in reduced resistance to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and promote the progression of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, there are no large population-based data evaluating potential causal associations between alcohol consumption and COVID-19.

METHODS: We conducted a Mendelian randomization study using data from UK Biobank to explore the association between alcohol consumption and risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and serious clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19. A total of 12,937 participants aged 50-83 who tested for SARS-CoV-2 between 16 March to 27 July 2020 (12.1% tested positive) were included in the analysis. The exposure factor was alcohol consumption. Main outcomes were SARS-CoV-2 positivity and death in COVID-19 patients. We generated allele scores using three genetic variants (rs1229984 (Alcohol Dehydrogenase 1B, ADH1B), rs1260326 (Glucokinase Regulator, GCKR), and rs13107325 (Solute Carrier Family 39 Member 8, SLC39A8)) and applied the allele scores as the instrumental variables to assess the effect of alcohol consumption on outcomes. Analyses were conducted separately for white participants with and without obesity.

RESULTS: Of the 12,937 participants, 4496 were never or infrequent drinkers and 8441 were frequent drinkers. Both logistic regression and Mendelian randomization analyses found no evidence that alcohol consumption was associated with risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in participants either with or without obesity (All q > 0.10). However, frequent drinking, especially heavy drinking (HR = 2.07, 95%CI 1.24-3.47; q = 0.054), was associated with higher risk of death in patients with obesity and COVID-19, but not in patients without obesity. Notably, the risk of death in frequent drinkers with obesity increased slightly with the average amount of alcohol consumed weekly (All q < 0.10).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that alcohol consumption has adverse effects on the progression of COVID-19 in white participants with obesity, but was not associated with susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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