BACKGROUND: Young people aged 10-24 years represent 27% of the world's population. Although important health problems and risk factors for disease in later life emerge in these years, the contribution to the global burden of disease is unknown. We describe the global burden of disease arising in young people and the contribution of risk factors to that burden.

METHODS: We used data from WHO's 2004 Global Burden of Disease study. Cause-specific disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for young people aged 10-24 years were estimated by WHO region on the basis of available data for incidence, prevalence, severity, and mortality. WHO member states were classified into low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries, and into WHO regions. We estimated DALYs attributable to specific global health risk factors using the comparative risk assessment method. DALYs were divided into years of life lost because of premature mortality (YLLs) and years lost because of disability (YLDs), and are presented for regions by sex and by 5-year age groups.

FINDINGS: The total number of incident DALYs in those aged 10-24 years was about 236 million, representing 15.5% of total DALYs for all age groups. Africa had the highest rate of DALYs for this age group, which was 2.5 times greater than in high-income countries (208 vs 82 DALYs per 1000 population). Across regions, DALY rates were 12% higher in girls than in boys between 15 and 19 years (137 vs 153). Worldwide, the three main causes of YLDs for 10-24-year-olds were neuropsychiatric disorders (45%), unintentional injuries (12%), and infectious and parasitic diseases (10%). The main risk factors for incident DALYs in 10-24-year-olds were alcohol (7% of DALYs), unsafe sex (4%), iron deficiency (3%), lack of contraception (2%), and illicit drug use (2%).

INTERPRETATION: The health of young people has been largely neglected in global public health because this age group is perceived as healthy. However, opportunities for prevention of disease and injury in this age group are not fully exploited. The findings from this study suggest that adolescent health would benefit from increased public health attention. 

06 May 2014 In Diabetes

Few studies have evaluated the effects of alcohol consumption on the incidence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS). Therefore, the objective of the present study was to examine the association between alcohol consumption and incident MetS in a population of US men. This is a prospective study of 7483 Caucasian men, who were free of the MetS and CVD at baseline. Information was collected on alcohol consumption, health status and fitness level at an initial clinical examination. Additional health information and determination of incident cases of the MetS were obtained at follow-up clinical examinations between 1979 and 2005. Compared with non-drinkers, the multivariate hazard ratios of the MetS for light (1-3 drinks/week), moderate (4-7 drinks/week), moderate-heavy (8-13 drinks/week) and heavy ( >/= 14 drinks/week) drinkers were 0.81 (95 % CI 0.68, 0.95), 0.68 (95 % CI 0.57, 0.80), 0.70 (95 % CI 0.59, 0.83) and 0.78 (95 % CI 0.66, 0.91), respectively. This association was seen across age groups, in men with one or more pre-existing MetS risk factors, and those with BMI >/= 25 kg/m2, and in all alcohol beverage types at most levels of alcohol consumption. An inverse dose-response association between alcohol consumption and low HDL concentrations was observed, while significant associations were observed between high fasting glucose concentrations and moderate, moderate-heavy and heavy levels of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption was not significantly associated with central obesity, hypertriacylglycerolaemia or hypertension. All levels of alcohol consumption provided significant inverse associations with incidence of the MetS. In particular, this effect was observed in overweight and/or obese individuals, in those who had pre-existing risk factors for the MetS, and extended across all types of alcoholic beverages consumed.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

OBJECTIVE: Recent studies suggest a lower risk for overweight/obesity in moderate alcohol drinkers. However, the validity of this relationship and its impact on the putative benefits of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk has not been well evaluated.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We assessed the impact of BMI on the relationship between alcohol consumption and CVD risk factors (blood pressure, lipid panel, and glucose and insulin concentrations) in 27,030 healthy Korean men with no major comorbidities or medication intake seen in a large urban Korean hospital.

RESULTS: BMI and overweight prevalence increased linearly with alcohol intake (P < 0.001). Alcohol intake was also positively associated with blood pressure and triglyceride, HDL, and fasting glucose concentrations (P < 0.001) and negatively associated with LDL and insulin concentrations (P < 0.001). With nondrinkers as the reference group, the odds ratio for having insulin in the top quartile also declined linearly when adjusted for age, BMI, smoking, and exercise, with the heaviest drinkers (>40 g/day) having an odds ratio of 0.71 (95% CI 0.62-0.82) (P < 0.001). The relationship between alcohol and CVD risk factors was similar in normal-weight and overweight individuals.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol intake is associated with increasing BMI and several metabolic abnormalities, including higher fasting glucose. Paradoxically, it is also associated with lower insulin concentrations. The clinical significance of these findings needs further investigation.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the association of alcohol consumption and cardiovascular mortality in the U.S. population.

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in cohort studies, but this association has not been prospectively examined in large, detailed, representative samples of the U.S. population.

METHODS: We analyzed 9 iterations of the National Health Interview Survey, an annual survey of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults between 1987 and 2000. Exposures of interest included usual volume, frequency, and quantity of alcohol consumption and binge drinking. Mortality was ascertained through linkage to the National Death Index through 2002. Relative risks were derived from random-effects meta-analyses of weighted, multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for cardiovascular mortality from individual survey administrations.

RESULTS: Light and moderate volumes of alcohol consumption were inversely associated with cardiovascular mortality. Compared with lifetime abstainers, summary relative risks were 0.95 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.88 to 1.02) among lifetime infrequent drinkers, 1.02 (95% CI: 0.94 to 1.11) among former drinkers, 0.69 (95% CI: 0.59 to 0.82) among light drinkers, 0.62 (95% CI: 0.50 to 0.77) among moderate drinkers, and 0.95 (95% CI: 0.82 to 1.10) among heavy drinkers. The magnitude of lower risk was similar in subgroups of sex, age, or baseline health status. There was no simple relation of drinking pattern with risk, but risk was consistently higher among those who consumed >or=3 compared with 2 drinks/drinking day.

CONCLUSIONS: In 9 nationally representative samples of U.S. adults, light and moderate alcohol consumption were inversely associated with CVD mortality, even when compared with lifetime abstainers, but consumption above recommended limits was not.

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