06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

Although alcohol drinking increases blood pressure and heavy drinking has been associated with alcoholic cardiomyopathy, little is known about the association between light to moderate drinking and risk of heart failure (HF) in hypertensive subjects. Thus, the association between light to moderate drinking and incident HF in 5,153 hypertensive male physicians who were free of stroke, myocardial infarction, or major cancers at baseline was prospectively examined. Alcohol consumption was self-reported and classified as <1, 1 to 4, 5 to 7, and >or=8 drinks/week. HF was ascertained using follow-up questionnaires and validated using Framingham criteria. Average age was 58 years, and about 70% of subjects consumed 1 to 7 drinks/week. A total of 478 incident HF cases occurred in this cohort during follow-up. Compared with subjects consuming or=8 drinks/week after adjustment for age, body mass index, smoking, randomization group, use of multivitamins, vegetable consumption, breakfast cereal, exercise, and history of atrial fibrillation, respectively (p for trend <0.001). Similar results were obtained for subjects with HF with and without antecedent myocardial infarction and those without diabetes mellitus. In conclusion, our data suggested that light to moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of HF in hypertensive male physicians.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

PURPOSE: To examine the association between alcohol consumption and mortality among older Mexican American men, with and without pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.

METHODS: We conducted survival analysis among 908 men aged 65-80 years from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly (H-EPESE), a longitudinal population-based study of older Mexican Americans who reside in the southwestern United States. Men were categorized into four alcohol-consumption groups: lifetime abstainers, former drinkers, low risk drinkers (< or =30 drinks/month and < or =3 drinks/occasion) and at-risk drinkers (>30 drinks/month or >3 drinks/occasion) and stratified into two groups: those with and those without pre-existing cardiovascular conditions. Mortality was ascertained from 1993-1994 to 2007.

RESULTS: Among participants without pre-existing cardiovascular conditions, former, low risk, and at-risk drinkers had a lower risk for all-cause mortality compared to lifetime abstainers [HR: .70, 95% CI (.50-.99), .64 (.42-.97) and .60 (.40-.92), respectively]. There was no statistically significant association between mortality and any of the alcohol consumption groups among those with cardiovascular conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: Among older Mexican-American men without cardiovascular conditions, former and current drinkers had lower mortality compared to abstainers. No such associations were observed between alcohol use and mortality among those with cardiovascular conditions.

06 May 2014 In Cancer




In order to provide a more precise quantification of the association between alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer risk, we performed a meta-analysis of relevant dose-risk results. We conducted a PubMed search of all case-control (N=21) and cohort (N=11) studies published up to March 2009. We computed summary relative risk (RR) estimates using either fixed- or, in the presence of heterogeneity, random-effects models. The pooled RR was 0.92 (95% confidence interval, 95% CI, 0.86-0.97) for or = 3 drinks/day. The increased risk for heavy drinking was similar in women and men, but apparently stronger in cohort studies (RR=1.29), in studies with high quality index (RR=1.30), and did not appear to be explained by residual confounding by either history of pancreatitis or tobacco smoking. This meta-analysis provides strong evidence for the absence of a role of moderate drinking in pancreatic carcinogenesis, coupled to an increased risk for heavy alcohol drinking. Given the moderate increase in risk and the low prevalence of heavy drinkers in most populations, alcohol appears to be responsible only for a small fraction of all pancreatic cancers.




06 May 2014 In Cancer




AIMS: To update epidemiological data on alcohol and breast cancer, with special emphasis on light alcohol consumption, and to review mechanisms of alcohol mediated mammary carcinogenesis.

METHODS: For epidemiological data, in November 2011 we performed a literature search in various bibliographic databases, and we conducted a meta-analysis of data on light alcohol drinking. Relevant mechanistic studies were also reviewed to November 2011.

RESULTS: A significant increase of the order of 4% in the risk of breast cancer is already present at intakes of up to one alcoholic drink/day. Heavy alcohol consumption, defined as three or more drinks/day, is associated with an increased risk by 40-50%. This translates into up to 5% of breast cancers attributable to alcohol in northern Europe and North America for a total of approximately 50 000 alcohol-attributable cases of breast cancer worldwide. Up to 1-2% of breast cancers in Europe and North America are attributable to light drinking alone, given its larger prevalence in most female populations when compared with heavy drinking. Alcohol increases estrogen levels, and estrogens may exert its carcinogenic effect on breast tissue either via the ER or directly. Other mechanisms may include acetaldehyde, oxidative stress, epigenetic changes due to a disturbed methyl transfer and decreased retinoic acid concentrations associated with an altered cell cycle.

CONCLUSIONS: Women should not exceed one drink/day, and women at elevated risk for breast cancer should avoid alcohol or consume alcohol occasionally only.




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