06 September 2018 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Studies have shown that alcohol intake trajectories differ in their associations with biomarkers of cardiovascular functioning, but it remains unclear if they also differ in their relationship to actual coronary heart disease (CHD) incidence. Using multiple longitudinal cohort studies, we evaluated the association between long-term alcohol consumption trajectories and CHD.

METHODS: Data were drawn from six cohorts (five British and one French). The combined analytic sample comprised 35,132 individuals (62.1% male; individual cohorts ranging from 869 to 14,247 participants) of whom 4.9% experienced an incident (fatal or non-fatal) CHD event. Alcohol intake across three assessment periods of each cohort was used to determine participants' intake trajectories over approximately 10 years. Time to onset for (i) incident CHD and (ii) fatal CHD was established using surveys and linked medical record data. A meta-analysis of individual participant data was employed to estimate the intake trajectories' association with CHD onset, adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics.

RESULTS: Compared to consistently moderate drinkers (males: 1-168 g ethanol/week; females: 1-112 g ethanol/week), inconsistently moderate drinkers had a significantly greater risk of incident CHD [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02-1.37]. An elevated risk of incident CHD was also found for former drinkers (HR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.13-1.52) and consistent non-drinkers (HR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.21-1.78), although, after sex stratification, the latter effect was only evident for females. When examining fatal CHD outcomes alone, only former drinkers had a significantly elevated risk, though hazard ratios for consistent non-drinkers were near identical. No evidence of elevated CHD risk was found for consistently heavy drinkers, and a weak association with fatal CHD for inconsistently heavy drinkers was attenuated following adjustment for confounding factors.

CONCLUSIONS: Using prospectively recorded alcohol data, this study has shown how instability in drinking behaviours over time is associated with risk of CHD. As well as individuals who abstain from drinking (long term or more recently), those who are inconsistently moderate in their alcohol intake have a higher risk of experiencing CHD. This finding suggests that policies and interventions specifically encouraging consistency in adherence to lower-risk drinking guidelines could have public health benefits in reducing the population burden of CHD. The absence of an effect amongst heavy drinkers should be interpreted with caution given the known wider health risks associated with such intake.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03133689

06 September 2018 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Excessive alcohol intake has been shown to be associated with cardiovascular disease via metabolic pathways. However, the relationship between alcohol intake and obesity has not been fully elucidated. We aimed to examine the association of alcohol consumption with fat deposition and anthropometric measures.

METHODS: From 2006-2008, we conducted a cross-sectional study in a population-based sample of Japanese men aged 40 to 79 years. Areas of abdominal visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) were calculated using computed tomography imaging. Based on a questionnaire, we classified participants into five groups according to weekly alcohol consumption, excluding former drinkers: non-drinkers (0 g/week), 0.1-160.9, 161-321.9, 322-482.9 and >==483 g/week. Multivariable linear regression was used to estimate adjusted means of obesity indices for each group.

RESULTS: We analyzed 998 men (mean age and body mass index [BMI], 63.8 years and 23.6 kg/m(2), respectively). Higher weekly alcohol consumption was strongly and significantly associated with higher abdominal VAT area, percentage of VAT, and VAT-to-SAT ratio (all P for trend <0.001), and also with waist circumferences and waist-to-hip ratio (P for trend, 0.042 and 0.007, respectively). These associations remained significant after further adjustment for BMI. Whereas, alcohol consumption had no significant association with abdominal SAT area.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher alcohol consumption was associated with higher VAT area, VAT% and VAT-to-SAT ratio, independent of confounders including BMI, in general Japanese men. These results suggest that alcohol consumption may have a potential adverse effect on visceral fat deposition.

27 July 2018 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Heavy drinkers of alcohol are reported to use hospitals more than non-drinkers, but it is unclear whether light-to-moderate drinkers use hospitals more than non-drinkers.

OBJECTIVE: We examined the relationship between alcohol consumption in 10,883 men and 12,857 women aged 40-79 years in the general population and subsequent admissions to hospital and time spent in hospital.

METHODS: Participants from the EPIC-Norfolk prospective population-based study were followed for ten years (1999-2009) using record linkage.

RESULTS: Compared to current non-drinkers, men who reported any alcohol drinking had a lower risk of spending more than twenty days in hospital multivariable adjusted OR 0.80 (95%CI 0.68-0.94) after adjusting for age, smoking status, education, social class, body mass index and prevalent diseases. Women who were current drinkers were less likely to have any hospital admissions multivariable adjusted OR 0.84 (95%CI 0.74-0.95), seven or more admissions OR 0.77 (95% CI 0.66-0.88) or more than twenty hospital days OR 0.70 (95%CI 0.62-0.80). However, compared to lifelong abstainers, men who were former drinkers had higher risk of any hospital admissions multivariable adjusted OR 2.22 (95%CI 1.51-3.28) and women former drinkers had higher risk of seven or more admissions OR 1.30 (95%CI 1.01-1.67).

CONCLUSION: Current alcohol consumption was associated with lower risk of future hospital usage compared with non-drinkers in this middle aged and older population. In men, this association may in part be due to whether former drinkers are included in the non-drinker reference group but in women, the association was consistent irrespective of the choice of reference group. In addition, there were few participants in this cohort with very high current alcohol intake. The measurement of past drinking, the separation of non-drinkers into former drinkers and lifelong abstainers and the choice of reference group are all influential in interpreting the risk of alcohol consumption on future hospitalisation.

27 July 2018 In General Health

The association between alcohol consumption and hip fracture differed by gender: Men aged 30-59 years drinking frequently or 14+ gl/week had higher risk than moderate drinkers. No significant association was seen in older men. Women not drinking alcohol had higher risk than those drinking moderately both regarding frequency and amount.

INTRODUCTION: We aimed to examine alcohol consumption and risk of hip fracture according to age and gender in the population-based Cohort of Norway (1994-2003).

METHODS: Socio-demographics, lifestyle, and health were self-reported and weight and height were measured in 70,568 men and 71,357 women >/= 30 years. Information on subsequent hip fractures was retrieved from hospitals' electronic patient registries during 1994-2013. Frequency of alcohol consumption was categorized: never/seldom, moderate (/= 4 times/week), and amount as number of glasses per week: 0, 1-6, 7-13, 14-27, and 28+. Type of alcohol (wine vs. beer/hard liquor) was also examined. Cox's proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) stratified on gender and baseline age < 60 and >/= 60 years.

RESULTS: During median 15-year follow-up, 1558 men and 2511 women suffered a hip fracture. Using moderate drinkers as reference, men < 60 years drinking frequently had multivariable adjusted HR = 1.73 (CI 1.02-2.96) for hip fracture and more than 2.5 times higher risk if they consumed 14+ glasses compared to 1-6 glasses per week. In other groups of age and gender, no statistically significant increased risk was found in those consuming the highest levels of alcohol. Compared to women with moderate or frequent alcohol use, never/seldom-drinking women had the highest fracture risk. In women, use of wine was associated with lower fracture risk than other types of alcohol.

CONCLUSIONS: Risk of hip fracture was highest in men < 60 years with the highest frequency and amount of alcohol consumption and in non-drinking women.

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