26 April 2017 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: The association between facial flushing after alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer remains controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relation between facial flushing and cancer risk.

METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library were searched for relevant literature. The patients' baseline characteristics and estimated risks were extracted. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were pooled to estimate the risk of facial flushing in cancer, and subgroup analysis was performed.

RESULTS: Ten studies with 89,376 participants from East Asia were included. The pooled OR of facial flushing in all cancers was 1.43 (95% CI, 1.08-1.91), with the pooled ORs of 1.94 (95% CI, 1.33-2.83) and 0.95 (95% CI, 0.80-1.12) in men and women, respectively. The pooled ORs were also estimated in different cancer types.

CONCLUSION: Our results showed that facial flushing response to alcohol was associated with higher cancer risk in men in East Asia, especially in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, yet facial flushing was not significantly associated with cancer risk among women.

27 February 2017 In Diabetes

AIMS/INTRODUCTION: Previous meta-analyses identified an inverse association of total alcohol consumption with the risk of type 2 diabetes. The current study further explored the relationship between specific types of alcoholic beverage and the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A search of PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library databases from January 1966 to February 2016 was carried out for prospective cohort studies that assessed the effects of specific types of alcoholic beverage on the risk of type 2 diabetes. The pooled relative risks with 95% confidence interval were calculated using random- or fixed-effect models when appropriate.

RESULTS: A total of 13 prospective studies were included in this meta-analysis, with 397,296 study participants and 20,641 cases of type 2 diabetes. Relative to no or rare alcohol consumption, wine consumption was associated with a significant reduction of the risk of type 2 diabetes, with the pooled relative risks of 0.85, whereas beer or spirits consumption led to a slight trend of decreasing risk of type 2 diabetes (relative risk 0.96, 0.95, respectively). Further dose-response analysis showed a U-shaped relationship between all three alcohol types and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the peak risk reduction emerged at 20-30 g/day for wine and beer, and at 7-15 g/day for spirits, with a decrease of 20, 9 and 5%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with beer or spirits, wine was associated with a more significant decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. The present study showed that wine might be more helpful for protection against type 2 diabetes than beer or spirits.

27 February 2017 In Dementia

It is widely believed that light-to-moderate alcohol intake may protect against dementia while excessive drinking may instead increase the risk. Nonetheless, these findings need cautious interpretations due to varying methodologies and lack of standard definition, which hindered our transferring into preventative practice. The objective of this study is to investigate the potential dose-response association between alcohol consumption and risk of dementia. A systematic search was conducted in electronic databases to identify relevant studies. Risk estimates were combined using a random-effect model. Eleven studies with 73,330 participants and 4586 cases for all-cause dementia (ACD), five studies with 52,715 participants and 1267 cases for Alzheimer's dementia (AD) and four studies with 49,535 participants and 542 cases for vascular dementia were included. We observed a nonlinear association between alcohol consumption and ACD risk (p nonlinearity < 0.05). The alcohol dose associated with lower risk of dementia was confined to at most 12.5 g/day, with the risk hitting bottom (RR approximately 0.9) at roughly 6 g/day. Of note, the ACD risk seemed to be elevated ( approximately 10%) when the dose surpasses certain levels: 23 drinks/week or 38 g/day. For the alcohol type, recommendation for wine is prioritized. The subgroup analysis further indicated that the effect of alcohol may be greater in younger adults (/=38 g/day) may instead elevate the risk.

01 February 2017 In Pregnant Women

BACKGROUND: Alcohol use during pregnancy is the direct cause of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). We aimed to estimate the prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy and FAS in the general population and, by linking these two indicators, estimate the number of pregnant women that consumed alcohol during pregnancy per one case of FAS.

METHODS: We began by doing two independent comprehensive systematic literature searches using multiple electronic databases for original quantitative studies that reported the prevalence in the general population of the respective country of alcohol use during pregnancy published from Jan 1, 1984, to June 30, 2014, or the prevalence of FAS published from Nov 1, 1973, to June 30, 2015, in a peer-reviewed journal or scholarly report. Each study on the prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy was critically appraised using a checklist for observational studies, and each study on the prevalence of FAS was critically appraised by use of a method specifically designed for systematic reviews addressing questions of prevalence. Studies on the prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy and/or FAS were omitted if they used a sample population not generalisable to the general population of the respective country, reported a pooled estimate by combining several studies, or were published in iteration. Studies that excluded abstainers were also omitted for the prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy. We then did country-specific random-effects meta-analyses to estimate the pooled prevalence of these indicators. For countries with one or no empirical studies, we predicted prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy using fractional response regression modelling and prevalence of FAS using a quotient of the average number of women who consumed alcohol during pregnancy per one case of FAS. We used Monte Carlo simulations to derive confidence intervals for the country-specific point estimates of the prevalence of FAS. We estimated WHO regional and global averages of the prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy and FAS, weighted by the number of livebirths per country. The review protocols for the prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy (CRD42016033835) and FAS (CRD42016033837) are available on PROSPERO.

FINDINGS: Of 23 470 studies identified for the prevalence of alcohol use, 328 studies were retained for systematic review and meta-analysis; the search strategy for the prevalence of FAS yielded 11 110 studies, of which 62 were used in our analysis. The global prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy was estimated to be 9.8% (95% CI 8.9-11.1) and the estimated prevalence of FAS in the general population was 14.6 per 10 000 people (95% CI 9.4-23.3). We also estimated that one in every 67 women who consumed alcohol during pregnancy would deliver a child with FAS, which translates to about 119 000 children born with FAS in the world every year.

INTERPRETATION: Alcohol use during pregnancy is common in many countries and as such, FAS is a relatively prevalent alcohol-related birth defect. More effective prevention strategies targeting alcohol use during pregnancy and surveillance of FAS are urgently needed.

FUNDING: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (no external funding was sought).

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