11 May 2015 In Cancer

Epidemiologic studies have reported that moderate alcohol consumption is inversely associated with the risk of renal cancer. However, there is no information available on the associations in renal cancer subsites. From 1992 through to 2010, 477,325 men and women in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort were followed for incident renal cancers (n = 931). Baseline and lifetime alcohol consumption was assessed by country-specific, validated dietary questionnaires. Information on past alcohol consumption was collected by lifestyle questionnaires. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated from Cox proportional hazard models. In multivariate analysis, total alcohol consumption at baseline was inversely associated with renal cancer; the HR and 95% CI for the increasing categories of total alcohol consumption at recruitment versus the light drinkers category were 0.78 (0.62-0.99), 0.82 (0.64-1.04), 0.70 (0.55-0.90), 0.91 (0.63-1.30), respectively, (ptrend = 0.001). A similar relationship was observed for average lifetime alcohol consumption and for all renal cancer subsites combined or for renal parenchyma subsite. The trend was not observed in hypertensive individuals and not significant in smokers. In conclusion, moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a decreased risk of renal cancer.

08 April 2015 In General Health

PURPOSE: To investigate alcohol drinking status and the association between drinking patterns and visual impairment in an adult population in northern China.

METHODS: Cluster sampling was used to select samples. The protocol consisted of an interview, pilot study, visual acuity (VA) testing and a clinical examination. Visual impairment was defined as presenting VA worse than 20/60 in any eye. Drinking patterns included drinking quantity (standard drinks per week) and frequency (drinking days in the past week).

RESULTS: Information on alcohol consumption was obtained from 8445 subjects, 963 (11.4%) of whom reported consuming alcohol. In multivariate analysis, alcohol consumption was significantly associated with older age (p < 0.001), male sex (p < 0.001), and higher education level (p < 0.01). Heavy intake (>14 drinks/week) was associated with higher odds of visual impairment. However, moderate intake (>1-14 drinks/week) was significantly associated with lower odds (adjusted odds ratio, OR, 0.7, 95% confidence interval, CI, 0.5-1.0) of visual impairment (p = 0.03). Higher drinking frequency was significantly associated with higher odds of visual impairment. Multivariate analysis showed that older age, male sex, and higher education level were associated with visual impairment among current drinkers. Age- and sex-adjusted ORs for the association of cataract and alcohol intake showed that higher alcohol consumption was not significantly associated with an increased prevalence of cataract (OR 1.2, 95% CI 0.4-3.6), whereas light and moderate alcohol consumption appeared to reduce incidence of cataract.

CONCLUSION: Drinking patterns were associated with visual impairment. Heavy intake had negative effects on distance vision; meanwhile, moderate intake had a positive effect on distance vision.

23 January 2015 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: Two ecological cross-sectional studies which relied on national survey data (U.S. and Australia) have shown that starting drinking at a younger age increases the frequency of heavy drinking in the general population, including those with good mental and physical health status. This study further investigates the hypothesis that age at first use of alcohol increases the risk of heavy alcohol use by applying data from a longitudinal study.

METHOD: This study used public-use data collected from Wave I, Wave III and Wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in the United States. The association between age at first use of alcohol and heavy alcohol use (5+ drinks per occasion) was examined with two different multivariate analysis approaches with data from 2316 participants: ordered logistic regression models and Poisson regression models with longitudinal data settings. In addition, the newly developed proxy outcome approach was further used to estimate and adjust for unmeasured/unobserved confounding factors.

RESULTS: Age at first use of alcohol before 18 years was associated significantly higher risk of heavy alcohol use at follow-up.

CONCLUSION: After adjusting for known and residual confounders, younger age at first use of alcohol was associated with significantly higher risk of heavy alcohol use, moreover, we posit that the association observed from this longitudinal study is probably causal. Abstinence from alcohol until the age of 18 years will likely reduce individual risk of alcohol-related problems in adulthood. In the longer term, delayed onset of exposure with widespread abstinence among this age group is also likely to reduce the overall prevalence of alcohol-related problems in the general population.

04 December 2014 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: This study investigated gender differences in the relationship between alcohol consumption and cognitive impairment among older adults in South Korea.

METHODS: Using data from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing, 2,471 females and 1,657 males were analyzed separately. Cognitive impairment was measured based on the Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Exam score. Logistic regression was conducted to examine the relationship between alcohol consumption and cognitive impairment among Korean older adults.

RESULTS: Multivariate analysis showed that compared to moderate drinkers, past drinkers were more likely to be cognitively impaired for women, while heavy drinkers were more likely to be cognitively impaired for men.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that the relationship between alcohol consumption and cognition varies with gender. Clinicians and service providers should consider gender differences when developing strategies for the prevention and treatment of alcohol-related cognitive decline among older adults.

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