17 May 2016 In General Health

IMPORTANCE: Excess alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are associated with substantially increased mortality. Efforts to reduce this toll require an understanding of their causes.

OBJECTIVE: To clarify the degree to which the excess mortality associated with AUDs arises (1) from the predispositions of the person who develops AUD (and which would likely be shared by close relatives) and (2) as a direct result of AUD itself.

DESIGN, SETTING, and PARTICIPANTS: A prospective cohort and co-relative design study involving all individuals born in Sweden from 1940 to 1965 who had neither died nor migrated prior to 1973 or age 15 years (N = 2821036). They were followed up from January 1, 1973, until December 31, 2010. Alcohol use disorder was assessed from medical, criminal, and pharmacy registries. Half-siblings, full-siblings, and monozygotic twin pairs discordant for AUD were obtained from the Multi-Generation and Twin Register.

MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURE: Death obtained from the Swedish Death registry.

RESULTS: Our cohort (1447887 males and 1373149 females) included 131895 males and 42163 females registered with AUD. The mean (SD) age at first AUD registration was 39 (13.4) years. We ascertained 127347 and 76325 deaths in the male and female subsamples, respectively. Controlling for sex, educational status, and year of birth, the mortality hazard ratio associated with AUD was 5.83 (95% CI, 5.76-5.90) and varied-with an inverted U-shaped function-by age. Examining the AUD-mortality association in the general population and in relative pairs discordant for AUD exposure demonstrated substantial familial confounding in early to mid-adulthood: the AUD-associated mortality hazard ratio was much lower in discordant close relatives than in the general population. In middle to late adulthood, evidence for familial confounding decreased with increasing evidence for a direct effect of AUD on elevated mortality. In the oldest age group (65-70 years), the mortality hazard ratios were similar across the population and all relative pairs, suggesting that the excess mortality was largely a result of having AUD. Adding years since onset of AUD to the model showed that both increasing age and increasing years of duration of AUD contributed to the reduction of familial confounding in the association between AUD and elevated mortality.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Excess mortality associated with AUD arises both from the predispositions of the person who develops AUD and the direct result of having AUD. The effect of predisposition is more prominent early in the life course and in the early years of AUD. The direct effect of AUD becomes progressively more important later in life and with longer duration of AUD. These results have implications for interventions seeking to reduce the elevated AUD-associated mortality.

24 February 2016 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: There is limited evidence on the association between dietary folate intake and the risk of breast cancer (BC) by hormone receptor expression in the tumors. We investigated the relationship between dietary folate and BC risk using data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

METHODS: A total of 367993 women age 35 to 70 years were recruited in 10 European countries. During a median follow-up of 11.5 years, 11575 women with BC were identified. Dietary folate intake was estimated from country-specific dietary questionnaires. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to quantify the association between dietary variables and BC risk. BC tumors were classified by receptor status. Subgroup analyses were performed by menopausal status and alcohol intake. Intake of other B vitamins was considered. All statistical tests were two-sided.

RESULTS: A borderline inverse association was observed between dietary folate and BC risk (hazard ratio comparing top vs bottom quintile [HRQ5-Q1] = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.83 to 1.01, P trend = .037). In premenopausal women, we observed a statistically significant trend towards lower risk in estrogen receptor-negative BC (HRQ5-Q1 = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.45 to 0.96, P trend = .042) and progesterone receptor-negative BC (HRQ5-Q1 = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.51 to 0.97, P trend = .021). No associations were found in postmenopausal women. A 14% reduction in BC risk was observed when comparing the highest with the lowest dietary folate tertiles in women having a high (>12 alcoholic drinks/week) alcohol intake (HRT3-T1 = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.75 to 0.98, P interaction = .035).

CONCLUSIONS: Higher dietary folate intake may be associated with a lower risk of sex hormone receptor-negative BC in premenopausal women.

26 November 2015 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori are major carcinogen of gastric cancer, but the associations among gastric cancer, H. pylori infection status, and alcohol consumption are not fully described. This study aimed to clarify how H. pylori infection status affects the association between alcohol consumption and gastric cancer risk.

METHODS: We selected 949 case-cohort participants from the 18 863 Korean Multi-center Cancer Cohort (KMCC) populations. Gastric cancer incidence inside and outside of the subcohort were 12 and 254 cases, respectively. Seropositivities for CagA, VacA, and H. pylori infection were determined by performing immunoblot assays. Weighted Cox regression models were used to calculate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: Relative to non-drinking, heavy drinking (7 times a week), and binge drinking (55 g alcohol intake per occasion) showed a 3.48-fold (95% CI, 1.13-10.73) and 3.27-fold (95% CI, 1.01-10.56) higher risk in subjects not previously infected by H. pylori. There was no significant association between drinking pattern and gastric cancer risk in H. pylori IgG seropositive subjects. An increased risk for gastric cancer in heavy- and binge-drinking subjects were also present in subjects not infected by CagA- or VacA-secreting H. pylori.

CONCLUSIONS: Heavy and binge alcohol consumption is an important risk factor related to an increasing incidence of gastric cancer in a population not infected by H. pylori.

26 November 2015 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: We aimed to estimate the effect of alcohol consumption on breast cancer risk and to test whether overweight and obesity modifies this association.

METHODS: We included in the analysis 45,233 women enrolled in the Swedish Women's Lifestyle and Health study between 1991 and 1992. Participants were followed for occurrence of breast cancer and death until December 2009. Poisson regression models were used, and analyses were done for overall breast cancer and for estrogen receptor positive or negative (ER+, ER-) and progesterone receptor positive and negative (PR+, PR-) tumors separately.

RESULTS: A total of 1,385 breast cancer cases were ascertained during the follow-up period. Overall, we found no statistically significant association between alcohol intake and breast cancer risk after adjustment for confounding, with an estimated relative risk (RR) of 1.01 (95 % CI: 0.98-1.04) for an increment in alcohol consumption of 5 g/day. A statistically significant elevated breast cancer risk associated with higher alcohol consumption was found only among women with BMI </=25 (RR 1.03, 95 % CI 1.0-1.05 per 5 g/day increase).

CONCLUSION: An increase in breast cancer risk with higher alcohol consumption was found for breast cancers in women with a BMI </=25 kg/m(2).

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