23 November 2022 In Drinking Patterns

Although excessive alcohol consumption is a highly prevalent public health problem the data on the associations between alcohol consumption and health outcomes in individuals preferring different types of alcoholic beverages has remained unclear. We examined the relationships between the amounts and patterns of drinking with the data on laboratory indices of liver function, lipid status and inflammation in a national population-based health survey (FINRISK). Data on health status, alcohol drinking, types of alcoholic beverages preferred, body weight, smoking, coffee consumption and physical activity were recorded from 22,432 subjects (10,626 men, 11,806 women), age range 25-74 years. The participants were divided to subgroups based on the amounts of regular alcohol intake (abstainers, moderate and heavy drinkers), patterns of drinking (binge or regular) and the type of alcoholic beverage preferred (wine, beer, cider or long drink, hard liquor or mixed). Regular drinking was found to be more typical in wine drinkers whereas the subjects preferring beer or hard liquor were more often binge-type drinkers and cigarette smokers. Alcohol use in all forms was associated with increased frequencies of abnormalities in the markers of liver function, lipid status and inflammation even at rather low levels of consumption. The highest rates of abnormalities occurred, however, in the subgroups of binge-type drinkers preferring beer or hard liquor. These results demonstrate that adverse consequences of alcohol occur even at moderate average drinking levels especially in individuals who engage in binge drinking and in those preferring beer or hard liquor. Further emphasis should be placed on such patterns of drinking in policies aimed at preventing alcohol-induced adverse health outcomes.

23 November 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: The causal effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are continuously debated, especially on coronary artery disease (CAD).

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to explore the causal associations of alcohol consumption with CVDs and all-cause mortality among Chinese males.

METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted in 40,386 Chinese males, with 17,676 being genotyped for the rs671 variant in the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) gene. A Cox proportional hazards model was conducted to estimate the effects of self-reported alcohol consumption. Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis was performed to explore the causality using rs671 as an instrumental variable. RESULTS: During the follow-up of 303,353 person-years, 2406 incident CVDs and 3195 all-cause mortalities were identified. J-shaped associations of self-reported alcohol consumption with incident CVD and all-cause mortality were observed, showing decreased risks for light (</=25 g/d) and moderate drinkers (25-</=60 g/d). However, MR analyses revealed a linear association of genetically predicted alcohol consumption with the incident CVD (P-trend = 0.02), including both CAD (P-trend = 0.03) and stroke (P-trend = 0.02). The HRs (95% CIs) for incident CVD across increasing tertiles of genetically predicted alcohol consumption were 1 (reference), 1.18 (1.01, 1.38), and 1.22 (1.03, 1.46). After excluding heavy drinkers, the risk of incident CVD and all-cause mortality was increased by 27% and 20% per standard drink increment of genetically predicted alcohol consumption, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses extend the evidence of the harmful effect of alcohol consumption to total CVD (including CAD) and all-cause mortality, highlighting the potential health benefits of lowering alcohol consumption, even among light-to-moderate male drinkers.

27 October 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Research has long found 'J-shaped' relationships between alcohol consumption and certain health outcomes, indicating a protective effect of moderate consumption. However, methodological limitations in most studies hinder causal inference. This review aimed to identify all observational studies employing improved approaches to mitigate confounding in characterizing alcohol-long-term health relationships, and to qualitatively synthesize their findings.

METHODS: Eligible studies met the above description, were longitudinal (with pre-defined exceptions), discretized alcohol consumption, and were conducted with human populations. MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Embase and SCOPUS were searched in May 2020, yielding 16 published manuscripts reporting on cancer, diabetes, dementia, mental health, cardiovascular health, mortality, HIV seroconversion, and musculoskeletal health. Risk of bias of cohort studies was evaluated using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale, and a recently developed tool was used for Mendelian Randomization studies.

RESULTS: A variety of functional forms were found, including reverse J/J-shaped relationships for prostate cancer and related mortality, dementia risk, mental health, and certain lipids. However, most outcomes were only evaluated by a single study, and few studies provided information on the role of alcohol consumption pattern.

CONCLUSIONS: More research employing enhanced causal inference methods is urgently required to accurately characterize alcohol-long-term health relationships. Those studies that have been conducted find a variety of linear and non-linear functional forms, with results tending to be discrepant even within specific health outcomes.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO registration number CRD42020185861.

27 October 2022 In Cancer

Importance: Although numerous studies have shown an association between alcohol consumption and cancer, how changes in drinking behavior increase or decrease the incidence of cancer is not well understood. Objective: To investigate the association between the reduction, cessation, or increase of alcohol consumption and the development of alcohol-related cancers and all cancers.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This population-based cohort study analyzed adult beneficiaries in the Korean National Health Insurance Service. Participants (aged >/=40 years) included those who underwent a national health screening in both 2009 and 2011 and had available data on their drinking status. Data were analyzed from April 16 to July 6, 2020. Exposures: Alcohol consumption level, which was self-reported by participants in health screening questionnaires, was categorized into none (0 g/d), mild (/=30 g/d) drinking. Based on changes in alcohol consumption level from 2009 to 2011, participants were categorized into the following groups: nondrinker, sustainer, increaser, quitter, and reducer. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was newly diagnosed alcohol-related cancers (including cancers of the head and neck, esophagus, colorectum, liver, larynx, and female breast), and the secondary outcome was all newly diagnosed cancers (except for thyroid cancer).

Results: Among the 4513746 participants (mean [SD] age, 53.6 [9.6] years; 2324172 [51.5%] men), the incidence rate of cancer was 7.7 per 1000 person-years during a median (IQR) follow-up of 6.4 (6.1-6.6) years. Compared with the sustainer groups at each drinking level, the increaser groups had a higher risk of alcohol-related cancers and all cancers. The increased alcohol-related cancer incidence was associated with dose; those who changed from nondrinking to mild (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.03; 95% CI, 1.00-1.06), moderate (aHR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.02-1.18), or heavy (aHR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.23-1.45) drinking levels had an associated higher risk than those who did not drink. Those with mild drinking levels who quit drinking had a lower risk of alcohol-related cancer (aHR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.92-0.99) than those who sustained their drinking levels. Those with moderate (aHR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.03-1.12) or heavy (aHR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.02-1.12) drinking levels who quit drinking had a higher all cancer incidence than those who sustained their levels, but when quitting was sustained, this increase in risk disappeared. Compared with sustained heavy drinking, reduced heavy drinking levels to moderate levels (alcohol-related cancer: aHR, 0.91 [95% CI, 0.86-0.97]; all cancers: aHR, 0.96 [95% CI, 0.92-0.99]) or mild levels (alcohol-related cancer: aHR, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.86-0.98]; all cancers: aHR, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.89-0.96]) were associated with decreased cancer risk.

Conclusions and Relevance: Results of this study showed that increased alcohol consumption was associated with higher risks for alcohol-related and all cancers, whereas sustained quitting and reduced drinking were associated with lower risks of alcohol-related and all cancers. Alcohol cessation and reduction should be reinforced for the prevention of cancer.

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