08 January 2019 In Diabetes

Health benefits of moderate wine consumption have been studied during the past decades, first in observational studies and more recently, in experimental settings and randomized controlled studies. Suggested biological pathways include antioxidant, lipid regulating, and anti-inflammatory effects. Both the alcoholic and polyphenolic components of wine are believed to contribute to these beneficial effects. Although several of these studies demonstrated protective associations between moderate drinking and cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, neurological disorders, and the metabolic syndrome, no conclusive recommendations exist regarding moderate wine consumption. Yet, it is suggested that the physician and patient should discuss alcohol use. In the CASCADE (CArdiovaSCulAr Diabetes & Ethanol) trial, 224 abstainers with type 2 diabetes were randomized to consume red wine, white wine or mineral water for two years. Here, we summarize our previous findings, offer new evidence concerning the differential effects of wine consumption among men and women, and further suggest that initiating moderate alcohol consumption among well-controlled persons with type 2 diabetes is apparently safe, in regard to changes in heart rate variability and carotid plaque formation.

27 July 2018 In General Health

A routine of light or moderate alcohol consumption (4drinks/day) is associated with an increased risk for death and cardiovascular (CV) disease (CVD). Excessive alcohol intake trails behind only smoking and obesity among the 3 leading causes of premature deaths in the United States (US). Heavy alcohol use is a common cause of reversible hypertension (HTN), nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation (AF), and stroke (both ischemic and hemorrhagic). Among males aged 15 to 59years, alcohol abuse is perhaps the leading cause of premature death. As such, the risk-to-benefit ratio of drinking is less favorable in younger individuals. A daily habit of light to moderate drinking is ideal for those who choose to consume alcohol regularly. Red wine in particular before or during the evening meal is linked with the best long-term CV outcomes. Most of the studies on alcohol and health are observational, and correlation does not prove causation. Health care professionals should not advise nondrinkers to begin drinking because of the paucity of randomized outcome data coupled with the potential for alcohol abuse even among seemingly low risk individuals.

18 May 2018 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Findings from studies of alcohol and obesity measures (eg, waist circumference [WC] and body mass index [BMI; calculated as kg/m(2)]) are conflicting. Residual confounding by dietary intake, inconsistent definitions of alcohol consumption across studies, and the inclusion of former drinkers in the nondrinking comparison group can contribute to the mixed literature.

OBJECTIVE: This study examines associations of alcoholic beverage consumption with dietary intake, WC, and BMI.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional data from the 2003-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were analyzed.

PARTICIPANTS/SETTING: Adults 20 to 79 years of age (n=7,436 men; n=6,939 women) were studied.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Associations of alcoholic beverage consumption with energy (kcal), macronutrient and sugar intakes (% kcal), WC, and BMI were determined.

STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Multivariable linear regression models were used to determine associations of average daily volume and drinking quantity (ie, drinks per drinking day) with dietary intake and obesity measures. Former and never drinkers were analyzed as distinct categories; associations of drinking with WC and BMI were examined with and without adjustment for dietary intake variables.

RESULTS: Heavier-drinking men (>/=3 drinks/day) and women (>/=2 drinks/day) consumed less nonalcoholic energy (beta -252 kcal/day, 95% CI -346 to -159 kcal/day and beta -159 kcal/day, 95% CI -245 to -73 kcal/day, respectively) than moderate drinkers (1 to 2 drinks/day in men and 1 drink/day in women). By average daily drinking volume, differences in WC and BMI between former and moderate drinkers were +1.78 cm (95% CI 0.51 to 3.05 cm) and +0.65 (95% CI 0.12 to 1.18) in men and +4.67 cm (95% CI 2.95 to 6.39 cm) and +2.49 (95% CI 1.64 to 3.34) in women. Compared with moderate drinking, heavier drinking volume was not associated with WC or BMI among men or women. In men, drinking >/=5 drinks/drinking day was associated with higher WC (beta 3.48 cm, 95% CI 1.97 to 5.00 cm) and BMI (beta 1.39, 95% CI 0.79 to 2.00) compared with men who consumed 1 to 2 drinks/drinking day. In women, WC and BMI were not significantly different for women drinking >/=4 drinks/drinking day compared with 1 drink/drinking day.

CONCLUSIONS: Differences in dietary intake across drinking subgroups and separation of former drinkers from nondrinkers should be considered in studies of alcohol intake in relation to WC and BMI.

18 May 2018 In General Health

OBJECTIVES: The primary goal was to examine the relationship between alcohol use and frailty, a variable characterizing late-life decline, in a national, longitudinal survey of older adults living in the United States.

METHODS: The sample drawn from the Health and Retirement Study included 9,499 stroke-free participants over age 65 in 2000. The sample was 59.1% female, and had a mean age of 74.25 years (SD = 6.99). Follow-up data was from 2004, 2008, and 2012. Frailty was defined phenotypically using the Paulson-Lichtenberg Frailty Index (PLFI). Alcohol use was measured via self-report. Control variables included age, race, education, socio-economic status (SES), depressive symptomatology, medical burden score, body mass index (BMI), and partner status. With abstinent participants as the reference group, logistic regressions were conducted to determine prevalent frailty at 2000, and Cox's proportional hazard models were utilized to determine time to incident frailty over a 12-year period.

RESULTS: Results revealed that age, depressive symptomatology, and medical burden score were significant positive correlates of prevalent and incident frailty (p < .05) for both males and females. Logistic regressions revealed that consumption of 1-7 alcoholic drinks per week was associated with reduced prevalent frailty (OR = .49, p < .001) for females. Survival analysis results reveal that compared with nondrinkers, males and females who reportedly consumed 1-7 drinks per week had a decreased probability of incident frailty (HR = .78-081, p < .05).

CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that moderate alcohol use confers reduced frailty risk for both older men and women. Future research should examine the mechanism(s) relating alcohol consumption and frailty.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Findings support extant literature suggesting some healthcare benefits may be associated with moderate drinking.

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