17 September 2015 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Results from several cohort and case-control studies suggest a protective association between current alcohol intake and risk of thyroid carcinoma, but the epidemiological evidence is not completely consistent and several questions remain unanswered.

METHODS: The association between alcohol consumption at recruitment and over the lifetime and risk of differentiated thyroid carcinoma was examined in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Among 477 263 eligible participants (70% women), 556 (90% women) were diagnosed with differentiated thyroid carcinoma over a mean follow-up of 11 years. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models.

RESULTS: Compared with participants consuming 0.1-4.9 g of alcohol per day at recruitment, participants consuming 15 or more grams (approximately 1-1.5 drinks) had a 23% lower risk of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (HR=0.77; 95% CI=0.60-0.98). These findings did not differ greatly when analyses were conducted for lifetime alcohol consumption, although the risk estimates were attenuated and not statistically significant anymore. Similar results were observed by type of alcoholic beverage, by differentiated thyroid carcinoma histology or according to age, sex, smoking status, body mass index and diabetes.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides some support to the hypothesis that moderate alcohol consumption may be associated with a lower risk of papillary and follicular thyroid carcinomas.

08 April 2015 In Social and Cultural Aspects

OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the unique associations between electronic media communication (EMC) with friends and adolescent substance use (tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis), over and beyond the associations of face-to-face (FTF) interactions with friends and the average level of classroom substance use.

METHODS: Drawn from the cross-national 2009/2010 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study in The Netherlands, 5,642 Dutch adolescents (M age = 14.29) reported on their substance use, EMC, and FTF interactions. Two-level multilevel analyses (participants nested within classrooms) were run.

RESULTS: Electronic media communication was positively associated with adolescent substance use, though significantly more strongly with alcohol (beta = 0.15, SE beta = 0.02) than with tobacco (beta = 0.05, SE beta = 0.02, t (5,180) = 3.33, p < 0.001) or cannabis use (beta = 0.06, SE beta = 0.02, t (5,160) = 2.79, p < 0.01). Further, EMC strengthened several positive associations of FTF interactions and average classroom substance use with adolescent substance use.

CONCLUSIONS: Electronic media communication was uniquely associated with substance use, predominantly with alcohol use. Thus, adolescents' EMC and other online behaviors should not be left unnoticed in substance use research and prevention programs.

08 April 2015 In Diabetes

OBJECTIVE: Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. This reduced risk might be explained by improved insulin sensitivity or improved glycemic status, but results of intervention studies on this relation are inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of intervention studies investigating the effect of alcohol consumption on insulin sensitivity and glycemic status.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: PubMed and Embase were searched up to August 2014. Intervention studies on the effect of alcohol consumption on biological markers of insulin sensitivity or glycemic status of at least 2 weeks' duration were included. Investigators extracted data on study characteristics, outcome measures, and methodological quality.

RESULTS: Fourteen intervention studies were included in a meta-analysis of six glycemic end points. Alcohol consumption did not influence estimated insulin sensitivity (standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.08 [-0.09 to 0.24]) or fasting glucose (SMD 0.07 [-0.11 to 0.24]) but reduced HbA1c (SMD -0.62 [-1.01 to -0.23]) and fasting insulin concentrations (SMD -0.19 [-0.35 to -0.02]) compared with the control condition. Alcohol consumption among women reduced fasting insulin (SMD -0.23 [-0.41 to -0.04]) and tended to improve insulin sensitivity (SMD 0.16 [-0.04 to 0.37]) but not among men. Results were similar after excluding studies with high alcohol dosages (>40 g/day) and were not influenced by dosage and duration of the intervention. CONCLUSIONS: Although the studies had small sample sizes and were of short duration, the current evidence suggests that moderate alcohol consumption may decrease fasting insulin and HbA1c concentrations among nondiabetic subjects. Alcohol consumption might improve insulin sensitivity among women but did not do so overall.

05 March 2015 In General Health
There are few reports of associations between alcohol consumption and risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). To investigate this further, we studied 5476 participants aged 28-75 years in the Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-Stage Disease (PREVEND) study, a prospective population-based cohort, who were free of CKD at baseline (1997/1998). Alcohol consumption was self-reported on a questionnaire validated against serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The primary outcome was de novo CKD defined as a combination of a creatinine-cystatin C-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) under 60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 and/or the mean of two consecutive 24-h urinary albumin excretions over 30 mg. During four serial follow-up examinations (median 10.2 years until February 2012), 903 participants developed CKD. Compared with those abstaining from alcohol, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) for CKD risk were 0.85 (0.69-1.04) for occasional (under 10 g/week), 0.82 (0.69-0.98) for light (10-69.9 g/week), 0.71 (0.58-0.88) for moderate (70-210 g/week), and 0.60 (0.42-0.86) for heavier (over 210 g/week) alcohol consumers (significant trend). Similar inverse associations for alcohol consumption were found when CKD was defined as eGFR <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 or as 24-h urinary albumin excretion over 30 mg. Thus, in this population-based cohort, alcohol consumption was inversely associated with the risk of developing CKD.Kidney International advance online publication, 14 January 2015; doi:10.1038/ki.2014.414
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