16 June 2015 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: There is limited research examining beverage habits, one of the most habitual dietary behaviors, with mortality risk.

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the association between coffee, black and green tea, sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks and juice), and alcohol and all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

METHODS: A prospective data analysis was conducted with the use of the Singapore Chinese Health Study, including 52,584 Chinese men and women (aged 45-74 y) free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer at baseline (1993-1998) and followed through 2011 with 10,029 deaths. Beverages were examined with all-cause and cause-specific (cancer, CVD, and respiratory disease) mortality risk with the use of Cox proportional hazards regression.

RESULTS: The associations between coffee, black tea, and alcohol intake and all-cause mortality were modified by smoking status. Among never-smokers there was an inverse dose-response association between higher amounts of coffee and black tea intake and all-cause, respiratory-related, and CVD mortality (black tea only). The fully adjusted HRs for all-cause mortality for coffee for <1/d, 1/d, and >/=2/d relative to no coffee intake were 0.89, 0.86, and 0.83, respectively (P-trend = 0.0003). For the same black tea categories the HRs were 0.95, 0.90, and 0.72, respectively (P-trend = 0.0005). Among ever-smokers there was no association between coffee or black tea and the outcomes. Relative to no alcohol, light to moderate intake was inversely associated with all-cause mortality (HR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.79, 0.96) in never-smokers with a similar magnitude of association in ever-smokers. There was no association between heavy alcohol intake and all-cause mortality in never-smokers and a strong positive association in ever-smokers (HR: 1.56; 95% CI: 1.40, 1.74). Green tea and sugar-sweetened beverages were not associated with all-cause or cause-specific mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher coffee and black tea intake was inversely associated with mortality in never-smokers, light to moderate alcohol intake was inversely associated with mortality regardless of smoking status, heavy alcohol intake was positively associated with mortality in ever-smokers, and there was no association between sugar-sweetened beverages and green tea and mortality.

15 June 2015 In Social and Cultural Aspects

BACKGROUND: The relationship between the alcohol policy environment (ie, the combined effectiveness and implementation of multiple existing alcohol policies) and youth drinking in the United States has not been assessed. We hypothesized that stronger alcohol policy environments are inversely associated with youth drinking, and this relationship is partly explained by adult drinking.

METHODS: Alcohol Policy Scale (APS) scores that characterized the strength of the state-level alcohol policy environments were assessed with repeated cross-sectional Youth Risk Behavior Survey data of representative samples of high school students in grades 9 to 12, from biennial years between 1999 and 2011.

RESULTS: In fully adjusted models, a 10 percentage point increase in APS scores (representing stronger policy environments) was associated with an 8% reduction in the odds of youth drinking and a 7% reduction in the odds of youth binge drinking. After we accounted for youth-oriented alcohol policies, the subgroup of population-oriented policies was independently associated with lower odds of youth drinking (adjusted odds ratio 0.94; 95% confidence interval 0.92-0.97) and youth binge drinking (adjusted odds ratio 0.96; 95% confidence interval 0.94-0.99). State-level per capita consumption mediated the relationship between population-oriented alcohol policies and binge drinking among youth.

CONCLUSIONS: Stronger alcohol policies, including those that do not target youth specifically, are related to a reduced likelihood of youth alcohol consumption. These findings suggest that efforts to reduce youth drinking should incorporate population-based policies to reduce excessive drinking among adults as part of a comprehensive approach to preventing alcohol-related harms. Future research should examine influence of alcohol policy subgroups and discrete policies.

15 June 2015 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with cardiomyopathy, but the influence of moderate alcohol use on cardiac structure and function is largely unknown.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied 4466 participants from visit 5 of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study (76+/-5 years and 60% women) who underwent transthoracic echocardiography, excluding former drinkers and those with significant valvular disease. Participants were classified into 4 categories based on self-reported alcohol intake: nondrinkers, drinkers of /=7 to 14, and >/=14 drinks per week. We related alcohol intake to measures of cardiac structure and function, stratified by sex, and fully adjusted for covariates. In both genders, increasing alcohol intake was associated with larger left ventricular diastolic and systolic diameters and larger left atrial diameter (P<0.05). In men, increasing alcohol intake was associated with greater left ventricular mass (8.2+/-3.8 g per consumption category; P=0.029) and higher E/E' ratio (0.82+/-0.33 per consumption category; P=0.014). In women, increasing alcohol intake was associated with lower left ventricular ejection fraction (-1.9+/-0.6% per consumption category; P=0.002) and a tendency for worse left ventricular global longitudinal strain (0.45+/-0.25% per consumption category; P=0.07).

CONCLUSIONS: In an elderly community-based population, increasing alcohol intake is associated with subtle alterations in cardiac structure and function, with women appearing more susceptible than men to the cardiotoxic effects of alcohol.

04 December 2014 In Social and Cultural Aspects

OBJECTIVE: There have been conflicting findings in the literature concerning the risks to adolescents when parents provide them with alcohol. Studies have examined various ways in which parents directly affect adolescent alcohol consumption through provision (e.g., parental offers, parental allowance/supervision, parental presence while drinking, and parental supply). This review synthesizes findings on the direct ways parental provision can influence a child's alcohol consumption and related problems in an effort to provide parents with science-based guidance. We describe potential mechanisms of the relationship between these parental influences and adolescent problems, suggest future directions for research, and discuss implications for parents.

METHOD: Twenty-two studies (a mix of cross-sectional and longitudinal) that empirically examined the association between parental provision and adolescent drinking outcomes were reviewed.

RESULTS: Parental provision was generally associated with increased adolescent alcohol use and, in some instances, increased heavy episodic drinking as well as higher rates of alcohol-related problems. Data in support of the view that parental provision serves as a protective factor in the face of other risk factors were equivocal.

CONCLUSIONS: The nature and extent of the risks associated with parental provision, and the potential mechanisms underlying this association, are complex issues. Although more rigorous studies with longitudinal designs are needed, parents should be aware of potential risks associated with providing adolescents with alcohol and a place to drink. It is recommended that parents discourage drinking until adolescents reach legal age.

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