23 January 2015 In Cancer

AIMS: To understand how US cancer control plans address alcohol use, an important but frequently overlooked cancer risk factor, and how many US adults are at risk.

METHODS: We reviewed alcohol control efforts in 69 comprehensive cancer control plans in US states, tribes and jurisdictions. Using the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we assessed the prevalence of current alcohol use among US adults and the proportion of these drinkers who exceeded guidelines for moderate drinking.

RESULTS: Most comprehensive cancer control plans acknowledged alcohol use as a cancer risk factor but fewer than half included a goal, objective or strategy to address alcohol use. More than half of US adults reported current alcohol use in 2011, and two of three drinkers exceeded moderate drinking guidelines at least once in the past month. Many states that did not address alcohol use in comprehensive cancer control plans also had a high proportion of adults at risk.

CONCLUSION: Alcohol use is a common cancer risk factor in the USA, but alcohol control strategies are not commonly included in comprehensive cancer control plans. Supporting the implementation of evidence-based strategies to prevent the excessive use of alcohol is one tool the cancer control community can use to reduce the risk of cancer.

04 December 2014 In Dementia

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether alcohol consumption is causally associated with cognitive impairment in older men as predicted by mendelian randomization.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of a cohort study of 3,542 community-dwelling men aged 65 to 83 years followed for 6 years. Cognitive impairment was established by a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 23 or less. Participants provided detailed information about their use of alcohol during the preceding year and were classified as abstainers, occasional drinkers, and regular drinkers: mild (/=35 drinks/wk). We genotyped the rs1229984 G-->A variant of the alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B) gene, which is associated with lowerprevalence of alcohol abuse and dependence. Other measures included age, education, marital status, smoking and physical activity, body mass index, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.

RESULTS: At study entry, rs1229984 G-->A polymorphism was associated with lower prevalence of regular use of alcohol and decreased consumption among regular users. Six years later, 502 men (14.2%) showed evidence of cognitive impairment. Abstainers and irregular drinkers had higher odds of cognitive impairment than regular drinkers (odds ratio [OR] = 1.23, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.00-1.51, after adjustment for other measured factors). The rs1229984 G-->A polymorphism did not decrease the odds of cognitive impairment (AA/GG OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 0.29-6.27; GA/GG OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.71-1.55).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption, including heavy regular drinking and abuse, is not a direct cause of cognitive impairment in later life. Our results are consistent with the possibility, but do not prove, that regular moderate drinking decreases the risk of cognitive impairment in older men.

04 December 2014 In Cancer

AIMS: To understand how US cancer control plans address alcohol use, an important but frequently overlooked cancer risk factor, and how many US adults are at risk.

METHODS: We reviewed alcohol control efforts in 69 comprehensive cancer control plans in US states, tribes and jurisdictions. Using the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we assessed the prevalence of current alcohol use among US adults and the proportion of these drinkers who exceeded guidelines for moderate drinking.

RESULTS: Most comprehensive cancer control plans acknowledged alcohol use as a cancer risk factor but fewer than half included a goal, objective or strategy to address alcohol use. More than half of US adults reported current alcohol use in 2011, and two of three drinkers exceeded moderate drinking guidelines at least once in the past month. Many states that did not address alcohol use in comprehensive cancer control plans also had a high proportion of adults at risk.

CONCLUSION: Alcohol use is a common cancer risk factor in the USA, but alcohol control strategies are not commonly included in comprehensive cancer control plans. Supporting the implementation of evidence-based strategies to prevent the excessive use of alcohol is one tool the cancer control community can use to reduce the risk of cancer.

04 December 2014 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Although high alcohol consumption has been associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF), the role of light to moderate drinking remains unclear.

OBJECTIVES: The study sought to investigate the association between alcohol consumption and AF risk in a prospective study of Swedish men and women and to conduct a meta-analysis of prospective studies to summarize available evidence.

METHODS: We followed 79,019 men and women who, at baseline, were free from AF and had completed a questionnaire about alcohol consumption and other risk factors for chronic diseases. Incident AF cases were ascertained by linkage to the Swedish Inpatient Register. For the meta-analysis, studies were identified by searching PubMed through January 10, 2014, and by reviewing references of pertinent publications. Study-specific relative risks (RRs) were combined using a random effects model.

RESULTS: Over 859,420 person-years of follow-up (1998 to 2009), 7,245 incident AF cases were identified in our own cohort study. The association between alcohol consumption and AF did not differ by sex (p for interaction = 0.74). Compared with current drinkers of 21 drinks/week. Results were similar after excluding binge drinkers. In a meta-analysis of 7 prospective studies, including 12,554 AF cases, the RRs were 1.08 (95% CI: 1.06 to 1.10) for 1 drink/day, 1.17 (95% CI: 1.13 to 1.21) for 2 drinks/day, 1.26 (95% CI: 1.19 to 1.33) for 3 drinks/day, 1.36 (95% CI: 1.27 to 1.46) for 4 drinks/day, and 1.47 (95% CI: 1.34 to 1.61) for 5 drinks/day, compared with nondrinkers.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that alcohol consumption, even at moderate intakes, is a risk factor for atrial fibrillation.

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