23 July 2015 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

OBJECTIVE: Research on moderate drinking has focused on the average level of drinking. Recently, however, investigators have begun to consider the role of the pattern of drinking, particularly heavy episodic drinking, in mortality. The present study examined the combined roles of average drinking level (moderate vs. high) and drinking pattern (regular vs. heavy episodic) in 20-year total mortality among late-life drinkers.

METHOD: The sample comprised 1,121 adults ages 55-65 years. Alcohol consumption was assessed at baseline, and total mortality was indexed across 20 years. We used multiple logistic regression analyses controlling for a broad set of sociodemographic, behavioral, and health status covariates.

RESULTS: Among individuals whose high level of drinking placed them at risk, a heavy episodic drinking pattern did not increase mortality odds compared with a regular drinking pattern. Conversely, among individuals who engage in a moderate level of drinking, prior findings showed that a heavy episodic drinking pattern did increase mortality risk compared with a regular drinking pattern. Correspondingly, a high compared with a moderate drinking level increased mortality risk among individuals maintaining a regular drinking pattern, but not among individuals engaging in a heavy episodic drinking pattern, whose pattern of consumption had already placed them at risk.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings highlight that low-risk drinking requires that older adults drink low to moderate average levels of alcohol and avoid heavy episodic drinking. Heavy episodic drinking is frequent among late-middle-aged and older adults and needs to be addressed along with average consumption in understanding the health risks of late-life drinkers.

15 June 2015 In Social and Cultural Aspects

AIMS: There are many consequences of binge drinking compared with light or moderate drinking behaviors. The prevalence rate and intensity of binge drinking is highest among the college-aged population. Given the popularity and high use of the Internet among college students, a novel approach for programming is through Internet-based interventions. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review of Internet-based interventions targeting binge drinking among the college population.

METHODS: Eligibility criteria included peer-reviewed articles evaluating Internet-based interventions for binge drinking prevention among college students published between 2000 and 2014. Only English language articles were included. Review articles and articles only explaining intervention pedagogies were not included. After a systematic screening process, a total of 14 articles were included for the final review. Each article was read thoroughly in order to extract the following variables: study design and sample size, average age of participants, underpinning theoretical framework, and intervention description and duration. This review also synthesized a methodological assessment with variables such as outcome measures, sample size justification, number of measurements and use of process evaluations.

RESULTS: All studies but one reported a significant reduction in the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption and problems related with heavy drinking. Furthermore, Internet-based interventions appeared to be more effective than traditional print-based interventions; however, face-to-face interventions were typically more effective.

CONCLUSIONS: This review supports using the Internet as a brief intervention approach that can effectively support efforts to reduce binge drinking among college students.

12 March 2015 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Roles of alcohol consumption in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are still controversial, although several cross-sectional studies have suggested the beneficial effect of light to moderate drinking on fatty liver. We analyzed the longitudinal relationship between drinking pattern and fatty liver.

METHODS: We included 5297 Japanese individuals (3773 men and 1524 women) who underwent a baseline study in 2003 and follow-up at least once from 2004 to 2006. Generalized estimating equation was used to estimate any association between drinking pattern and fatty liver assessed by ultrasonography.

RESULTS: At baseline, 1179 men (31.2%) and 235 women (15.4%) had fatty liver; 2802 men (74.2%) and 436 women (28.6%) reported alcohol consumption. At the latest follow-up, 348 of 2594 men (13.4%) and 101 of 1289 women (7.8%) had newly developed fatty liver; 285 of 1179 men (24.2%) and 70 of 235 women (29.8%) demonstrated a remission of fatty liver. In men, drinking 0.1-69.9g/week (odds ratio, 0.79 [95% confidence interval, 0.68-0.90]), drinking 70.0-139.9g/week (0.73 [0.63-0.84]), drinking 140.0-279.9g/week (0.69 [0.60-0.79]), and drinking 280.0g/week (0.68 [0.58-0.79]) were inversely associated with fatty liver after adjusting for obesity, exercise, and smoking. In women, drinking 0.1-69.9g/week (0.71 [0.52-0.96]) and drinking 70.0-139.9g/week (0.67 [0.45-0.98]) were inversely associated with fatty liver after the adjustment.

CONCLUSIONS: Light to moderate alcohol consumption, or even somewhat excessive amounts especially in men, was likely to protect most individuals against fatty liver over time.

23 January 2015 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: Older adults are a growing segment of the European population and alcohol is an important cause of disease burden; thus, it is noteworthy that little information is available on alcohol intake among older adults in Europe.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine alcohol consumption patterns and their association with demographic and clinical variables in the older population of Spain.

DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional study.

PARTICIPANTS/SETTING: The sample included 3,058 individuals, representative of the Spanish population aged >/=60 years during 2008-2010.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Regular alcohol consumption was measured with a validated diet history questionnaire. The threshold between moderate and heavy drinking was >/=40 g alcohol/day in men (>/=24 g in women). Binge drinking was defined as intake of >/=80 g alcohol in men (>/=60 g in women) during any drinking occasion in the previous month, and problem drinking by a CAGE score >/=2.


STATISTICAL ANALYSIS PERFORMED: The prevalence and 95% CI of the drinking patterns were calculated after accounting for sampling design.

RESULTS: The prevalence of moderate drinking was 44.3% (95% CI 42.0% to 46.6%) and of heavy drinking was 7.8% (95% CI 6.7% to 8.9%). In total, 68.4% (95% CI 65.7% to 71.2%) of individuals obtained >80% of alcohol from wine and 61.8% (95% CI 58.9% to 64.6%) drank only with meals. Furthermore, 1% (95% CI 0.6% to 1.4%) showed binge drinking and 3.1% (95% CI 2.3% to 3.8%) showed problem drinking. Heavy alcohol consumption was significantly more frequent in men. Moderate alcohol consumption was significantly less frequent among women, persons who were not married, living alone, with a diagnosis of diabetes, receiving treatment for diabetes, and with suboptimal self-rated health. About 5% to 10% of individuals with diagnosed hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease showed heavy drinking. Among those taking sleeping pills or antidiabetes or antithrombotic treatment, 37% to 46% had moderate alcohol intake and 5% to 8% had heavy intake.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption among older adults in Spain is frequent and mostly consistent with the traditional Mediterranean drinking pattern. However, a proportion of individuals were heavy drinkers and used medication that may interact with alcohol.

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