06 May 2014 In General Health




Little evidence exists regarding associations between age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and moderate alcohol consumption, patterns of consumption, or different types of alcoholic beverage. The authors examined associations between AMD prevalence and alcohol intake using 20,963 participants from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study aged 40-69 years at baseline (1990-1994). Participants' alcohol consumption was determined from a structured interview at baseline. At follow-up from 2003 to 2007, digital macula photographs of both eyes were taken and evaluated for early and late AMD signs. Drinking more than 20 g of alcohol per day was associated with an approximate 20% increase in the odds of early AMD (odds ratio = 1.21, 95% confidence interval: 1.06, 1.38; P = 0.004) when compared with those who reported no alcohol intake at baseline, having adjusted for sex, age, smoking, country of birth, education, physical activity, and energy from food. This positive association was apparent for wine, beer, and spirits. The estimates were similar for both sexes. The odds ratio for those drinking more than 20 g of alcohol per day for late AMD was 1.44 (95% confidence interval: 0.85, 2.45; P = 0.17). These results show a modest association between alcohol consumption and increased AMD risk.




OBJECTIVE: To assess alcohol use and problem drinking among university students in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and to examine the associated factors.

METHOD: A multicenter cross-sectional study was conducted in 16 universities in 2006-2007 in NRW by a standardized questionnaire and 3,306 students provided information (response rate of 88%). Problem drinking was measured by the CAGE questionnaire.

RESULTS: Alcohol consumption in the last 3 months was reported by >90 % of students. About 80% reported heavy drinking, and 20% displayed problem drinking. Male students, students living in residence halls, and students from sport faculties had a higher risk of heavy drinking and problem drinking. When students were compared across study years, frequency of heavy drinking decreased with higher semesters.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, heavy drinking and problem drinking are common among university students in this sample. Intervention programs should be designed for students at a particularly high risk.

06 May 2014 In Diabetes

AIMS: To investigate the relationship of alcohol consumption with the metabolic syndrome and diabetes in a population-based study with high mean alcohol consumption. Few data exist on these conditions in high-risk drinkers.

METHODS: In 6172 adults aged 35-75 years, alcohol consumption was categorized as 0, 1-6, 7-13, 14-20, 21-27, 28-34 and >/= 35 drinks/week or as non-drinkers (0), low-risk (1-13), medium-to-high-risk (14-34) and very-high-risk (>/= 35) drinkers. Alcohol consumption was objectively confirmed by biochemical tests. In multivariate analysis, we assessed the relationship of alcohol consumption with adjusted prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, diabetes and insulin resistance, determined with the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).

RESULTS: Seventy-three per cent of participants consumed alcohol, 16% were medium-to-high-risk drinkers and 2% very-high-risk drinkers. In multivariate analysis, the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, diabetes and mean HOMA-IR decreased with low-risk drinking and increased with high-risk drinking. Adjusted prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was 24% in non-drinkers, 19% in low-risk (P<0.001 vs. non-drinkers), 20% in medium-to-high-risk and 29% in very-high-risk drinkers (P=0.005 vs. low-risk). Adjusted prevalence of diabetes was 6.0% in non-drinkers, 3.6% in low-risk (P<0.001 vs. non-drinkers), 3.8% in medium-to-high-risk and 6.7% in very-high-risk drinkers (P=0.046 vs. low-risk). Adjusted HOMA-IR was 2.47 in non-drinkers, 2.14 in low-risk (P<0.001 vs. non-drinkers), 2.27 in medium-to-high-risk and 2.53 in very-high-risk drinkers (P=0.04 vs. low-risk). These relationships did not differ according to beverage types.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol has a U-shaped relationship with the metabolic syndrome, diabetes and HOMA-IR, without differences between beverage types.

06 May 2014 In Diabetes

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption is a common behavior. Little is known about the relationship between alcohol consumption and glycemic control among people with diabetes.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between alcohol consumption and glycemic control. DESIGN: Survey follow-up study, 1994-1997, among Kaiser Permanente Northern California members.

PATIENTS: 38,564 adult diabetes patients.

MEASUREMENTS: Self-reported alcohol consumption, and hemoglobin A1C (A1C), assessed within 1 year of survey date. Linear regression of A1C by alcohol consumption was performed, adjusted for sociodemographic variables, clinical variables, and diabetes disease severity. Least squares means estimates were derived.

RESULTS: In multivariate-adjusted models, A1C values were 8.88 (lifetime abstainers), 8.79 (former drinkers), 8.90 (<0.1 drink/day), 8.71 (0.1-0.9 drink/day), 8.51 (1-1.9 drinks/day), 8.39 (2-2.9 drinks/day), and 8.47 (>/=3 drinks/day). Alcohol consumption was linearly (p < 0.001) and inversely (p = 0.001) associated with A1C among diabetes patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption is inversely associated with glycemic control among diabetes patients. This supports current clinical guidelines for moderate levels of alcohol consumption among diabetes patients. As glycemic control affects incidence of complications of diabetes, the lower A1C levels associated with moderate alcohol consumption may translate into lower risk for complications.

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