23 July 2015 In General Health

To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and multiple sclerosis risk, we performed a systematic literature search of PubMed, EmBase and Web of Science databases for all relevant articles regarding alcohol and multiple sclerosis. Our meta-analysis consisted of 10 studies, including nine case-controls and one cohort study. The odds ratios (OR) of the association between alcohol consumption and multiple sclerosis were 0.92 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.73-1.17] overall, 0.91 (95 % CI 0.39-2.41) for prospective study, and 0.92 (95 % CI 0.72-1.19) for retrospective studies. In addition, neither subgroup analyses nor sensitivity analyses showed a substantially change in the pooled OR and 95 % CI. Meta-analysis showed that there is no evidence that alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis. There may be a potential protective effect of alcohol consumption on MS incidence, however, this trend may not be obvious and should be validated by further research.

23 July 2015 In Cancer

Despite plenty of evidence supports an inverse association between alcohol drinking and risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), sex-specific and beverage-specific dose-response relationships have not been well established. We examined this association by performing a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Studies were identified by comprehensively searching PubMed and EMBASE databases through February 21, 2015. Categorical and dose-response meta-analyses were conducted to identify the effects of alcohol on RCC. A total of eight publications (including seven cohort studies and one pooled analysis of 12 cohort studies) were eligible for this meta-analysis. Dose-response analysis showed that each 5 g/day increment of alcohol intake corresponded to a 5% decrease in risk of RCC for males and 9% for females. Alcohol intakes from wine, beer, and liquor were each associated with a reduced risk of RCC. When these associations were examined separately by gender, statistically significant inverse associations were restricted to alcohol from wine among females (RR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.73-0.91) and to alcohol from beer and from liquor among males (RR = 0.87, 95% CI 0.83-0.91 and RR = 0.95, 95% CI 0.92-0.99, respectively). In conclusion, there exist gender-specific and beverage-specific differences in the association between alcohol intake and RCC risk.

15 June 2015 In Pregnant Women

Prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with a constellation of adverse physical, neurocognitive and behavior outcomes, which comprise a continuum of disorders labeled Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Extant research has consistently identified executive functions (EF) as a central impairment associated with FASD. Despite this, heterogeneity exists regarding the strength of the association between FASD and different EF, and this association has not yet been quantitatively synthesized. The current meta-analysis reviews 46 studies that compare children and adolescents with FASD to participants without FASD, on a variety of EF measures. In accordance with Miyake et al. Cognitive Psychology, 41, 49-100 (2000) three-factor model of EF, findings for the primary EF domains of working memory, inhibition, and set shifting are reviewed. Results indicate that children and adolescents with FASD demonstrate significant deficits across these EF, although the magnitude of effects diverged between EF, with working memory and inhibition yielding medium effects and set shifting yielding large effects. These results were moderated by sample characteristics, type of FASD diagnosis, and EF methodology. This quantitative synthesis offers novel future research directions.

11 May 2015 In General Health

PURPOSE: To evaluate the association between different amounts of alcohol consumption and the risk of age-related cataract.

METHODS: We searched PubMed and Embase from their inception until May 2014 for case-control or cohort studies with data on alcohol consumption and age-related cataract. Heavy alcohol consumption was defined as more than two standard drinks per day, which is equal to a daily intake of 20 g of alcohol or 140 g per week. Moderate consumption was defined as less than 20 g of alcohol per day but more than never any. We performed separate meta-analyses for the associations of moderate or heavy alcohol consumption with age-related cataract under a random-effects model, respectively.

RESULTS: Five case-control and five cohort studies were identified through comprehensive literature search. In the meta-analysis of 10 studies, the associations between moderate alcohol consumption and age-related cataract were marginally nonsignificant (pooled relative risk, 0.88; 95% confidence interval, 0.74 to 1.05; I = 82.1%), whereas heavy alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of age-related cataract (pooled relative risk, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.50; I = 58.9%). The association between heavy alcohol consumption and cataract was stronger in case-control than in cohort studies. Adjusting for smoking as a potential confounder attenuated the association between heavy alcohol consumption and cataract.

CONCLUSIONS: Heavy alcohol consumption significantly increased the risk of age-related cataract, whereas moderate consumption may be protective for this ocular condition. Clinically, information on a patient's alcohol drinking history might be valuable to general physicians and ophthalmologists when there is a diagnosis of age-related cataract and should be collected on a routine basis in eye clinics.

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