06 May 2014 In General Health




BACKGROUND: Alcohol use disorders (AUD) have long been considered to be some of the most disabling mental disorders; however, empirical data on the burden of disease associated with AUD have been sparse. The objective of this article is to quantify the burden of disease (in disability-adjusted life years [DALYs] lost), deaths, years of life lost due to premature mortality (YLL), and years of life lost due to disability (YLD) associated with AUD for the United States in 2005. METHODS: Statistical modeling was based on epidemiological indicators derived from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Formal consistency analyses were applied. Risk relations were taken from recent meta-analyses and the disability weights from the burden of disease study of the National Institutes of Health. Monte Carlo simulations were used to derive confidence intervals. All analyses were performed by sex and age. Sensitivity analyses were undertaken on key indicators. RESULTS: In the United States in 2005, 65,000 deaths, 1,152,000 YLL, 2,443,000 YLD, and 3,595,000 DALYs were associated with AUD. For individuals 18 years of age and older, AUD were associated with 3% of all deaths (5% for men and 1% for women), and 5% of all YLL (7% for men and 2% for women). The majority of the burden of disease associated with AUD stemmed from YLD, which accounted for 68% of DALYs associated with AUD (66% for men and 74% for women). The youngest age group had the largest proportion of DALYs associated with AUD stemming from YLD. CONCLUSIONS: Using data from a large representative survey (checked for consistency) and by combining these data with the best available evidence, we found that AUD were associated with a larger burden of disease than previously estimated. To reduce this disease burden, implementation of prevention interventions and expansion of treatment are necessary.




06 May 2014 In Drinking Patterns

AIMS: To give an overview of the volume of alcohol consumption, beverage preference, and patterns of drinking among adults (people 15 years and older) in central and eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia) and to compare it to southern and western Europe, Russia and Ukraine.

METHODS: Secondary data analysis. Consumption and preferred beverage type data for the year 2002 were taken from the WHO Global Status Report on Alcohol and the WHO Global Alcohol Database.

RESULTS: Average consumption in central and eastern Europe is high with a relatively large proportion of unrecorded consumption ranging from one litre in Czech Republic and Estonia to 10.5 l in Ukraine. The proportion of heavy alcohol consumption (more than 40 g of pure alcohol per day) among men was the lowest in Bulgaria (25.8%) and the highest in Czech Republic (59.4%). Among women, the lowest proportion of heavy alcohol consumption was registered in Estonia (4.0%) and the highest in Hungary (16.0%). Patterns of drinking are detrimental with a high proportion of binge drinking, especially in the group of countries traditionally drinking vodka. In most countries, beer is now the most prevalent alcoholic beverage.

CONCLUSIONS: Other studies suggest that the population drinking levels found in central and eastern Europe are linked with higher levels of detrimental health outcomes. Known effective and cost-effective programs to reduce levels of risky drinking should, therefore, be implemented, which may, in turn, lead to a reduction of alcohol-attributable burden of disease.

06 May 2014 In Diabetes

OBJECTIVE: To clarify the dose-response relationship between alcohol consumption and type 2 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A systematic computer-assisted and hand search was conducted to identify relevant articles with longitudinal design and quantitative measurement of alcohol consumption. Adjustment was made for the sick-quitter effect. We used fractional polynomials in a meta-regression to determine the dose-response relationships by sex and end point using lifetime abstainers as the reference group.

RESULTS: The search revealed 20 cohort studies that met our inclusion criteria. A U-shaped relationship was found for both sexes. Compared with lifetime abstainers, the relative risk (RR) for type 2 diabetes among men was most protective when consuming 22 g/day alcohol (RR 0.87 [95% CI 0.76-1.00]) and became deleterious at just over 60 g/day alcohol (1.01 [0.71-1.44]). Among women, consumption of 24 g/day alcohol was most protective (0.60 [0.52-0.69]) and became deleterious at about 50 g/day alcohol (1.02 [0.83-1.26]).

CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis confirms previous research findings that moderate alcohol consumption is protective for type 2 diabetes in men and women.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

Contrary to a cardioprotective effect of moderate regular alcohol consumption, accumulating evidence points to a detrimental effect of irregular heavy drinking occasions (>60 g of pure alcohol or > or =5 drinks per occasion at least monthly) on ischemic heart disease risk, even for drinkers whose average consumption is moderate. The authors systematically searched electronic databases from 1980 to 2009 for case-control or cohort studies examining the association of irregular heavy drinking occasions with ischemic heart disease risk. Studies were included if they reported either a relative risk estimate for intoxication or frequency of > or =5 drinks stratified by or adjusted for total average alcohol consumption. The search identified 14 studies (including 31 risk estimates) containing 4,718 ischemic heart disease events (morbidity and mortality). Using a standardized protocol, the authors extracted relative risk estimates and their variance, in addition to study characteristics. In a random-effects model, the pooled relative risk of irregular heavy drinking occasions compared with regular moderate drinking was 1.45 (95% confidence interval: 1.24, 1.70), with significant between-study heterogeneity (I(2) = 53.9%). Results were robust in several sensitivity analyses. The authors concluded that the cardioprotective effect of moderate alcohol consumption disappears when, on average, light to moderate drinking is mixed with irregular heavy drinking occasions.

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