16 October 2015 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption is proposed to be the third most important modifiable risk factor for death and disability. However, alcohol consumption has been associated with both benefits and harms, and previous studies were mostly done in high-income countries. We investigated associations between alcohol consumption and outcomes in a prospective cohort of countries at different economic levels in five continents.

METHODS: We included information from 12 countries participating in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study, a prospective cohort study of individuals aged 35-70 years. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to study associations with mortality (n=2723), cardiovascular disease (n=2742), myocardial infarction (n=979), stroke (n=817), alcohol-related cancer (n=764), injury (n=824), admission to hospital (n=8786), and for a composite of these outcomes (n=11 963).

FINDINGS: We included 114 970 adults, of whom 12 904 (11%) were from high-income countries (HICs), 24 408 (21%) were from upper-middle-income countries (UMICs), 48 845 (43%) were from lower-middle-income countries (LMICs), and 28 813 (25%) were from low-income countries (LICs). Median follow-up was 4.3 years (IQR 3.0-6.0). Current drinking was reported by 36 030 (31%) individuals, and was associated with reduced myocardial infarction (hazard ratio [HR] 0.76 [95% CI 0.63-0.93]), but increased alcohol-related cancers (HR 1.51 [1.22-1.89]) and injury (HR 1.29 [1.04-1.61]). High intake was associated with increased mortality (HR 1.31 [1.04-1.66]). Compared with never drinkers, we identified significantly reduced hazards for the composite outcome for current drinkers in HICs and UMICs (HR 0.84 [0.77-0.92]), but not in LMICs and LICs, for which we identified no reductions in this outcome (HR 1.07 [0.95-1.21]; pinteraction<0.0001).

INTERPRETATION: Current alcohol consumption had differing associations by clinical outcome, and differing associations by income region. However, we identified sufficient commonalities to support global health strategies and national initiatives to reduce harmful alcohol use.

FUNDING: Population Health Research Institute, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, AstraZeneca (Canada), Sanofi-Aventis (France and Canada), Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany and Canada), Servier, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, King Pharma, and national or local organisations in participating countries.

23 January 2015 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Peer pressure (PP) has been shown to play a major role in the development and continuation of alcohol use and misuse. To date, almost all the studies investigating the association of PP with alcohol use only considered the PP for misconduct but largely ignored other aspects of PP, such as pressure for peer involvement and peer conformity. Moreover, it is not clear whether the association of PP with alcohol use is direct or mediated by other factors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association of different aspects of peer pressure (PP) with drinking volume (DV) and risky single-occasion drinking (RSOD), and to explore whether these associations were mediated by drinking motives (DM).

METHODS: A representative sample of 5521 young Swiss men, aged around 20 years old, completed a questionnaire assessing their usual weekly DV, the frequency of RSOD, DM (i.e. enhancement, social, coping, and conformity motives), and 3 aspects of PP (i.e. misconduct, peer involvement, and peer conformity). Associations between PP and alcohol outcomes (DV and RSOD) as well as the mediation of DM were tested using structural equation models.

RESULTS: Peer pressure to misconduct was associated with more alcohol use, whereas peer involvement and peer conformity were associated with less alcohol use. Associations of drinking outcomes with PP to misconduct and peer involvement were partially mediated by enhancement and coping motives, while the association with peer conformity was partially mediated by enhancement and conformity motives.

CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that PP to misconduct constitutes a risk factor, while peer conformity and peer involvement reflect protective factors with regard to alcohol use. Moreover, results from the mediation analyses suggest that part of the association of PP with alcohol use came indirectly through DM: PP was associated with DM, which in turn were associated with alcohol use.

23 January 2015 In Drinking Patterns

QUESTIONS UNDER STUDY: the main purpose of this longitudinal study was to determine the impact of risky single occasion drinking (RSOD) frequency on alcohol dependence and drinking consequences reported 15 months later.

METHODS: As a baseline sample, 5,990 young men were assessed on their drinking habits including the frequency of RSOD. Of them, 5,196 were reassessed at follow-up 15 months later on RSOD frequency, alcohol dependence and alcohol related consequences in thze interceding year. Drop out biases were investigated.

RESULTS: Around 45% of the baseline participants reported regular RSOD (every month or more frequently). Despite the fact that RSOD distribution was generally stable during the initial sample, 47.4% reported a variation of their RSOD frequency 15 months later. Around 25% of the sample reported reduced RSOD frequency. Nonetheless, occasional RS drinkers were more likely to become regular (monthly) RSO drinkers at follow up. Daily and weekly RSOD were associated with high proportions of alcohol dependence and detrimental consequences of drinking. Surprisingly, abstainers at baseline were more likely to be at risk of alcohol dependence and consequences at follow up than non-RSO drinkers.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the fact that alcohol abstinence is logically the best way to avoid the detrimental consequences of alcohol drinking, abstainers at baseline reported as many problems due to alcohol use at follow up as occasional or monthly RSO drinkers. The few participants who had become RSO drinkers during the follow up period were indeed likely to engage in detrimental behaviour. Non-RSO drinkers had the fewest problems due to alcohol use. This substantiates the early occurrence of drinking consequences among inexperienced RSO drinkers.

04 December 2014 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Peer pressure (PP) has been shown to play a major role in the development and continuation of alcohol use and misuse. To date, almost all the studies investigating the association of PP with alcohol use only considered the PP for misconduct but largely ignored other aspects of PP, such as pressure for peer involvement and peer conformity. Moreover, it is not clear whether the association of PP with alcohol use is direct or mediated by other factors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association of different aspects of peer pressure (PP) with drinking volume (DV) and risky single-occasion drinking (RSOD), and to explore whether these associations were mediated by drinking motives (DM).

METHODS: A representative sample of 5521 young Swiss men, aged around 20 years old, completed a questionnaire assessing their usual weekly DV, the frequency of RSOD, DM (i.e. enhancement, social, coping, and conformity motives), and 3 aspects of PP (i.e. misconduct, peer involvement, and peer conformity). Associations between PP and alcohol outcomes (DV and RSOD) as well as the mediation of DM were tested using structural equation models.

RESULTS: Peer pressure to misconduct was associated with more alcohol use, whereas peer involvement and peer conformity were associated with less alcohol use. Associations of drinking outcomes with PP to misconduct and peer involvement were partially mediated by enhancement and coping motives, while the association with peer conformity was partially mediated by enhancement and conformity motives.

CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that PP to misconduct constitutes a risk factor, while peer conformity and peer involvement reflect protective factors with regard to alcohol use. Moreover, results from the mediation analyses suggest that part of the association of PP with alcohol use came indirectly through DM: PP was associated with DM, which in turn were associated with alcohol use.

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