24 February 2016 In Cardiovascular System

The aim of this paper is to analyze the a priori dietary indexes used in the studies that have evaluated the role of the Mediterranean Diet in influencing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. All the studies show that this dietary pattern protects against cardiovascular disease, but studies show quite different effects on specific conditions such as coronary heart disease or cerebrovascular disease. A priori dietary indexes used to measure dietary exposure imply quantitative and/or qualitative divergences from the traditional Mediterranean Diet of the early 1960s, and, therefore, it is very difficult to compare the results of different studies. Based on real cultural heritage and traditions, we believe that the a priori indexes used to evaluate adherence to the Mediterranean Diet should consider classifying whole grains and refined grains, olive oil and monounsaturated fats, and wine and alcohol differently.

27 January 2016 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption contributes to many negative health consequences and is a risk factor for death. Some previous studies however suggest a J-shaped relationship between the level of alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality. These findings have in part been suggested to be due to confounders. The aim of our study was to analyze the relationship between self-reported alcohol intake and all-cause mortality in women, adjusted for sociodemographic, lifestyle factors and diseases such as diabetes and previous ischemic heart disease.

METHODS: All women aged 50-59 years (born between 1935 and 1945) that lived in any of the five municipalities in southern Sweden were invited to participate in a health survey. From December 1995 to February 2000 a total of 6916 women (out of 10,766, the total population of women in 1995) underwent a physical examination and answered a questionnaire. We followed the women from the day of screening until death, or if no event occurred until May 31st 2015. Mortality was ascertained through the national cause-of-death register.

RESULTS: In this study a total of 6353 women were included. Alcohol consumption showed a J-formed relationship with mortality, when adjusted for education, marital status, smoking, BMI, physical fitness, diabetes and ischemic heart disease before screening. Non consumption of alcohol was associated with increased mortality as well as higher levels of consumption, from 12 grams per day and upwards.

CONCLUSIONS: There was a clear J-shaped relation between the amount of alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality even after controlling for sociodemography, lifestyle factors and diseases such as diabetes and previous ischemic heart disease. The observed protective effect of light drinking (1-12 grams/day) could thus not be attributed to any of these known confounders.

16 October 2015 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Monitoring trends of alcohol-attributable mortality is an integral part of the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. However, mortality estimates based on different age ranges come to different conclusions. This study examined the impact of including different age ranges in terms of directions of trends of alcohol-attributable mortality over 14 years in Switzerland.

METHOD: Alcohol-attributable mortality was estimated at four time points between 1997 and 2011 using the Global Burden of Disease 2010 methodology. Estimates were obtained for two age groups: 15 to 64 years and the total adult population (15 years and older).

RESULTS: Alcohol-attributable mortality among 15-64 year olds decreased (1997: 1334 deaths, CI:1237-1432; 2011: 1019 deaths, CI: 964-1073; trend per year OR = 0.99, p < 0.001). In contrast, alcohol-attributable mortality among those 65 and older increased in the same time period (1997: 581 deaths, CI: -196-1357; 2011: 1664 deaths, CI: 957-2372; OR = 1.07, p < 0.001), resulting in an overall increase of alcohol-attributable mortality for 15+ year olds (1997: 1915 deaths, CI: 1133-2697; 2011: 2683, CI: 1973-3393; OR = 1.02, p < 0.001). The main shift in trends was due to changes in the mixture (e.g., hypertension, ischaemic heart disease) of cardiovascular diseases over time among those 65+ years old.

CONCLUSIONS: Trends in alcohol-attributable mortality may yield qualitatively different results based on the upper age limit for deaths set for these estimates. Global trends of alcohol-attributable mortality between 1997 and 2011 were heavily influenced by changes in the mixture of deaths across cardiovascular diseases. Trends for alcohol-attributable mortality and cross-country comparisons should be reported separately for 15-64 and 65+ year olds.

28 August 2015 In Cardiovascular System

Previous studies reported the potential associations between dietary patterns and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in adulthood, however a consistent perspective has not been established to date. Herein, we carried out this meta-analysis to evaluate the associations between dietary patterns and the risk of CHD. MEDLINE and EBSCO were searched for relevant articles published up to April 2015. A total of 35 articles (reporting 37 original studies) met the inclusion criteria and were included in the present meta-analysis. The decreased risk of CHD was shown for the highest compared with the lowest categories of healthy/prudent dietary patterns (odds ratio (OR) = 0.67; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.60, 0.75; p < 0.00001) and alcohol consumption (OR = 0.68; 95% CI: 0.59, 0.78; p < 0.00001). There was evidence of an increased risk of CHD in the highest compared with the lowest categories of the unhealthy/Western-type dietary patterns (OR = 1.45; 95% CI: 1.05, 2.01; p = 0.02). The results of this meta-analysis indicate that different dietary patterns may be associated with the risk of CHD.

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