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.

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.

21 July 2021 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Previously, we reported on associations between dietary patterns and incident acute coronary heart disease (CHD) in the REGARDS (Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke) study. Here, we investigated the associations of dietary patterns and a dietary index with recurrent CHD events and all-cause mortality in REGARDS participants with existing CHD.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We included data from 3562 participants with existing CHD in REGARDS. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to examine the hazard of first recurrence of CHD events-definite or probable MI or acute CHD death-and all-cause mortality associated with quartiles of empirically derived dietary patterns (convenience, plant-based, sweets, Southern, and alcohol and salads) and the Mediterranean diet score. Over a median 7.1 years (interquartile range, 4.4, 8.9 years) follow-up, there were 581 recurrent CHD events and 1098 deaths. In multivariable-adjusted models, the Mediterranean diet score was inversely associated with the hazard of recurrent CHD events (hazard ratio for highest score versus lowest score, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.62-0.98; PTrend=0.036). The Southern dietary pattern was adversely associated with the hazard of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio for Q4 versus Q1, 1.57; 95% confidence interval, 1.28-1.91; PTrend<0.001). The Mediterranean diet score was inversely associated with the hazard of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio for highest score versus lowest score, 0.80; 95% confidence interval, 0.67-0.95; PTrend=0.014).

CONCLUSIONS: The Southern dietary pattern was associated with a greater hazard of all-cause mortality in REGARDS participants. Greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with both a lower hazard of recurrent CHD events and all-cause mortality.

26 May 2021 In General Health
BACKGROUND: The existing findings of the longitudinal impact of low-to-moderate drinking on symptomatic depression were controversial, as results ranged from finding no association to finding both a protective and adverse association. METHODS: The present study examined the association between low-to-moderate alcohol consumption and incident depressive symptoms by pooled analysis of three European, American and Chinese representative samples of middle-aged and older adults. RESULTS: A total of 29,506 participants (55.5% female) were included. During 278,782 person-years of follow-up, we found that subjects with low-to-moderate drinking had a significantly lower incidence of depressive symptoms compared to never-drinking subjects, with pooled hazard ratios of 0.87 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.79-0.96) for men and 0.87 (95% CI: 0.80-0.95) for women, whereas heavy drinkers failed to show significantly higher risk of depressive symptoms. Furthermore, a J-shaped relation between alcohol consumption and incident depressive symptoms was identified in Chinese men, US men, and UK men and women. LIMITATIONS: The classification of depressive symptoms based on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale may not be completely comparable to diagnosis from a clinical setting. CONCLUSIONS: Low-to-moderate alcohol consumption was significantly associated with a lower risk of depressive symptoms on a long-term basis compared to never drinking. Our results support the threshold of moderate drinking in current US guidelines. However, caution should be exercised in engaging in guideline-concordant drinking habits, for even moderate drinkers are at risk of developing heavy drinking habits and experiencing future alcohol-related problems.
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