04 December 2014 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to test the structure and endorsement of drinking motives and their links to alcohol use among 11- to 19-year-olds from 13 European countries.

METHOD: Confirmatory factor analysis, latent growth curves, and multiple regression models were conducted, based on a sample of 33,813 alcohol-using students from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Wales who completed the Drinking Motives Questionnaire Revised Short Form (DMQ-R SF).

RESULTS: The findings confirmed the hypothesized fourdimensional factor structure. Social motives for drinking were most frequently indicated, followed by enhancement, coping, and conformity motives, in that order, in all age groups in all countries except Finland. This rank order was clearest among older adolescents and those from northern European countries. The results confirmed that, across countries, social motives were strongly positively related to drinking frequency, enhancement motives were strongly positively related to frequency of drunkenness, and conformity motives were negatively related to both alcohol outcomes. Against our expectations, social motives were more closely related to drunkenness than were coping motives, particularly among younger adolescents.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings reveal striking cross-cultural consistency. Health promotion efforts that are based on, or incorporate, drinking motives are likely to be applicable across Europe. As social motives were particularly closely linked to drunkenness among young adolescents, measures to impede the modeling of alcohol use and skills to resist peer pressure are particularly important in this age group.

30 October 2014 In Cancer

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the role of factors that modulate the association between alcohol and mortality, and to provide estimates of absolute risk of death.

DESIGN: The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition (EPIC).

SETTING: 23 centres in 10 countries.

PARTICIPANTS: 380 395 men and women, free of cancer, diabetes, heart attack or stroke at enrolment, followed up for 12.6 years on average.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: 20 453 fatal events, of which 2053 alcohol-related cancers (ARC, including cancers of upper aerodigestive tract, liver, colorectal and female breast), 4187 cardiovascular diseases/coronary heart disease (CVD/CHD), 856 violent deaths and injuries. Lifetime alcohol use was assessed at recruitment.

RESULTS: HRs comparing extreme drinkers (>/=30 g/day in women and >/=60 g/day in men) to moderate drinkers (0.1-4.9 g/day) were 1.27 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.43) in women and 1.53 (1.39 to 1.68) in men. Strong associations were observed for ARC mortality, in men particularly, and for violent deaths and injuries, in men only. No associations were observed for CVD/CHD mortality among drinkers, whereby HRs were higher in never compared to moderate drinkers. Overall mortality seemed to be more strongly related to beer than wine use, particularly in men. The 10-year risks of overall death for women aged 60 years, drinking more than 30 g/day was 5% and 7%, for never and current smokers, respectively. Corresponding figures in men consuming more than 60 g/day were 11% and 18%, in never and current smokers, respectively. In competing risks analyses, mortality due to CVD/CHD was more pronounced than ARC in men, while CVD/CHD and ARC mortality were of similar magnitude in women.

CONCLUSIONS: In this large European cohort, alcohol use was positively associated with overall mortality, ARC and violent death and injuries, but marginally to CVD/CHD. Absolute risks of death observed in EPIC suggest that alcohol is an important determinant of total mortality.

15 October 2014 In Cancer

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the role of factors that modulate the association between alcohol and mortality, and to provide estimates of absolute risk of death.

DESIGN: The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition (EPIC).

SETTING: 23 centres in 10 countries.

PARTICIPANTS: 380 395 men and women, free of cancer, diabetes, heart attack or stroke at enrolment, followed up for 12.6 years on average.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: 20 453 fatal events, of which 2053 alcohol-related cancers (ARC, including cancers of upper aerodigestive tract, liver, colorectal and female breast), 4187 cardiovascular diseases/coronary heart disease (CVD/CHD), 856 violent deaths and injuries. Lifetime alcohol use was assessed at recruitment.

RESULTS: HRs comparing extreme drinkers (>/=30 g/day in women and >/=60 g/day in men) to moderate drinkers (0.1-4.9 g/day) were 1.27 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.43) in women and 1.53 (1.39 to 1.68) in men. Strong associations were observed for ARC mortality, in men particularly, and for violent deaths and injuries, in men only. No associations were observed for CVD/CHD mortality among drinkers, whereby HRs were higher in never compared to moderate drinkers. Overall mortality seemed to be more strongly related to beer than wine use, particularly in men. The 10-year risks of overall death for women aged 60 years, drinking more than 30 g/day was 5% and 7%, for never and current smokers, respectively. Corresponding figures in men consuming more than 60 g/day were 11% and 18%, in never and current smokers, respectively. In competing risks analyses, mortality due to CVD/CHD was more pronounced than ARC in men, while CVD/CHD and ARC mortality were of similar magnitude in women.

CONCLUSIONS: In this large European cohort, alcohol use was positively associated with overall mortality, ARC and violent death and injuries, but marginally to CVD/CHD. Absolute risks of death observed in EPIC suggest that alcohol is an important determinant of total mortality.

BACKGROUND: In Russia, tobacco and alcohol use by adolescents are serious problems. In Finland, as in many other European countries, alcohol use is a growing concern.

AIMS: This study aimed to find out whether similar environmental factors predict adolescents' alcohol use among 15-year old adolescents in two politically and economically different cultures: in the Pitkaranta district in Russian Karelia and in eastern Finland.

METHODS: Research data gathered by self-administered questionnaires from the second North Karelia Youth Study and the Pitkaranta Youth Study were analysed. Path models using the structural equation modelling (SEM) approach were constructed to test whether similar path structures fit for boys and girls in both countries, and to test whether regression coefficients are similar between the cultures and by gender.

RESULTS: The results showed that alcohol use by family members and best friend is positively related to adolescents' alcohol use both directly and indirectly. The best friend's alcohol use was the most important predictor of adolescents' own alcohol use in every sub-sample. When indirect influences were also identified, the significance of parents' and siblings' alcohol use, in addition to alcohol use by the best friends, was strongly supported.

CONCLUSIONS: The results highlighted the importance of the process of peer selection for adolescents' choices, and the importance of offering support to the parents and to the health personnel working with children and adolescents.

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