28 July 2014 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Studies investigating the role of alcohol consumption in development of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) are scarce. We aimed to examine associations between total alcohol consumption, and specific alcoholic beverages, with hazard of AAA.

METHODS AND RESULTS: -44 715 men from the Cohort of Swedish Men and 35 569 women from the Swedish Mammography Cohort, aged 46 to 84 years at baseline 1998, constituted study population. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the associations between alcohol consumption, assessed through a food frequency questionnaire, and AAA, identified by means of linkage to the Swedish Inpatient Register and the Swedish Vascular Registry (Swedvasc). Over the 14-year follow-up until December 2011 (1 019 954 person-years), AAA occurred in 1020 men and 194 women. Compared with a consumption of 1 glass of alcohol/week (12 grams of ethanol), the HR of AAA among men who consumed 10 glasses/week was 0.80 (95% CI, 0.68-0.94). Corresponding HR among women who consumed 5 glasses/week was 0.57 (95% CI, 0.40-0.82). Among participants free from cardiovascular disease, total alcohol consumption did not seem to be associated with hazard of the disease. The most commonly consumed alcoholic beverages - beer among men and wine among women - were inversely associated, whereas no association was observed for liquor.

CONCLUSIONS: -Moderate alcohol consumption, specifically wine and beer, was associated with a lower hazard of abdominal aortic aneurysm. The associations between higher doses of alcohol and risk of the disease remain unknown.

21 May 2014 In General Health

Objective. To evaluate the association of alcohol consumption with risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in two large prospective cohorts, the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and Nurses' Health Study II (NHS II).

Methods. The NHS established in 1976 that enrolled 121,701 US female registered nurses. The NHSII began in 1989, enrolling 116,430 female nurses. Lifestyle and environmental exposures have been collected through biennial questionnaires. Alcohol consumption was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire completed every 4 years. The incident RA cases were identified using the connective tissue disease screening questionnaire and a medical record review. Separate Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) after adjusting for potential confounders in NHS and NHSII. Pooled HR from two cohorts was estimated using a DerSimonian and Laird random-effect model.

Results. Among 1.90 million years of person-time from 1980 to 2008, 580 incident RA cases were diagnosed in NHS, and among 1.78 million years of person-time from 1989 to 2009, 323 incident RA cases were diagnosed in NHSII. Compared to no use, the pooled multivariable adjusted HR for alcohol use of 5.0-9.9 grams/day (g/d) was 0.78 (95% CI, 0.61-1.00). For seropositive RA cases, the association appeared stronger (HR= 0.69, 95% CI: 0.50-0.95). In addition, Women who drank beer 2-4 times a week had a 31% decreased risk compared with women who never drank beer.

Conclusion. We found a modest association between long-term moderate alcohol drinking and reduced risk of RA. Future studies are needed to confirm our findings in other populations.

(c) 2014 American College of Rheumatology




OBJECTIVE: With the use of a new cohort of adolescent subjects, predictors from the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism (SSAGA) interview and the Achenbach Youth Self Report (YSR) were combined to model age of first drink (AFD).

METHODS: Subjects consisted of 820 adolescents (ages 14-17) drawn from the current phase of the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism. Three Cox proportional hazards models were considered. Model 1 contained SSAGA variables equivalent to AFD predictors from our previous study: interview age, family history of alcohol dependence, and number of conduct disorder symptoms. Model 2 incorporated 2 additional SSAGA questions (best friends drink and smoked a cigarette before a reported AFD) plus 8 YSR-derived scale scores. Model 3 was a reduced version of model 2, retaining only significant predictors.

RESULTS: Model 2 was a significant improvement over model 1. Model 3 was the best and the most parsimonious of the 3 with respect to likelihood ratio and Wald chi(2) tests and retained only 5 variables from model 2. Included variables were the following: (1) best friends drink, (2) membership in a high-risk alcohol dependence family, (3) number of conduct disorder symptoms, (4) YSR externalizing score, and (5) YSR social problems score.

CONCLUSIONS: Adding variables to those from our original study improved our ability to model the likely age of alcohol initiation. In addition to the SSAGA, the YSR appears to have utility as a research tool to predict the age of alcohol initiation.

06 May 2014 In General Health




BACKGROUND: The effect of different alcoholic beverages and drinking behaviour on the risk of acute pancreatitis has rarely been studied. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different types of alcoholic beverage in causing acute pancreatitis. METHODS: A follow-up study was conducted, using the Swedish Mammography Cohort and Cohort of Swedish Men, to study the association between consumption of spirits, wine and beer and the risk of acute pancreatitis. No patient with a history of chronic pancreatitis was included and those who developed pancreatic cancer during follow-up were excluded. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate rate ratios. RESULTS: In total, 84 601 individuals, aged 46-84 years, were followed for a median of 10 years, of whom 513 developed acute pancreatitis. There was a dose-response association between the amount of spirits consumed on a single occasion and the risk of acute pancreatitis. After multivariable adjustments, there was a 52 per cent (risk ratio 1.52, 95 per cent confidence interval 1.12 to 2.06) increased risk of acute pancreatitis for every increment of five standard drinks of spirits consumed on a single occasion. The association weakened slightly when those with gallstone-related pancreatitis were excluded. There was no association between consumption of wine or beer, frequency of alcoholic beverage consumption including spirits, or average total monthly consumption of alcohol (ethanol) and the risk of acute pancreatitis. CONCLUSION: The risk of acute pancreatitis was associated with the amount of spirits consumed on a single occasion but not with wine or beer consumption.




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