06 May 2014 In General Health
AIM: To examine the association between intake of alcohol and risk of adult-onset asthma. METHODS: Using data from two multidisciplinary questionnaire surveys we prospectively studied 19,349 twins, 12-41 years of age, from the nationwide Danish Twin Registry. RESULTS: The eight-year incidence of asthma was 4.3%. After adjustment for sex, age, BMI, physical activity, educational level and smoking, the risk of new-onset asthma was significantly related to overall alcohol intake in a U-shaped manner with the lowest risk observed in the group with a moderate weekly intake of alcohol (1-6 units/week), p = 0.006. The highest risk of asthma was observed in rare/never drinkers (/=4 units/day) was also increased, however not statistically significant, OR = 1.13 (0.54-2.36), p = 0.747. The risk of new-onset asthma was lower for subjects with wine preference (3.3%) compared with beer preference (4.3%) or no preference (4.4%). After multivariable adjustment, wine preference was inversely related to incident asthma compared with beer preference. However, this finding was not statistically significant, OR = 0.87 (0.51-1.46), p = 0.590. CONCLUSION: Alcohol intake is associated with new-onset asthma in adults with a U-shaped association between amount of alcohol intake and the risk of asthma
06 May 2014 In General Health

 

 

 

More education is associated with healthier smoking and drinking behaviors. Most analyses of effects of education focus on mean levels. Few studies have compared variance in health-related behaviors at different levels of education or analyzed how education impacts underlying genetic and environmental sources of health-related behaviors. This study explored these influences. In a 2002 postal questionnaire, 21,522 members of the Danish Twin Registry, born during 1931-1982, reported smoking and drinking habits. The authors used quantitative genetic models to examine how these behaviors' genetic and environmental variances differed with level of education, adjusting for birth-year effects. As expected, more education was associated with less smoking, and average drinking levels were highest among the most educated. At 2 standard deviations above the mean educational level, variance in smoking and drinking was about one-third that among those at 2 standard deviations below, because fewer highly educated people reported high levels of smoking or drinking. Because shared environmental variance was particularly restricted, one explanation is that education created a culture that discouraged smoking and heavy drinking. Correlations between shared environmental influences on education and the health behaviors were substantial among the well-educated for smoking in both sexes and drinking in males, reinforcing this Notion.

 

 

 

06 May 2014 In General Health
IMPORTANCE Alcohol consumption may be a modifiable lifestyle factor that affects the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). Results of previous studies have been inconsistent. OBJECTIVE To investigate the possible association of alcohol consumption with the risk of developing MS and to relate the influence of alcohol to the effect of smoking. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This report is based on 2 case-control studies: Epidemiological Investigation of Multiple Sclerosis (EIMS) included 745 cases and 1761 controls recruited from April 2005 to June 2011, and Genes and Environment in Multiple Sclerosis (GEMS) recruited 5874 cases and 5246 controls between November 2009 and November 2011. All cases fulfilled the McDonald criteria. Both EIMS and GEMS are population-based studies of the Swedish population aged 16 to 70 years. In EIMS, incident cases of MS were recruited via 40 study centers, including all university hospitals in Sweden. In GEMS, prevalent cases were identified from the Swedish national MS registry. In both studies, controls were randomly selected from the national population register, matched by age, sex, and residential area at the time of disease onset. MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURE Multiple sclerosis status. RESULTS There was a dose-dependent inverse association between alcohol consumption and risk of developing MS that was statistically significant in both sexes. In EIMS, women who reported high alcohol consumption had an odds ratio (OR) of 0.6 (95% CI, 0.4-1.0) of developing MS compared with nondrinking women, whereas men with high alcohol consumption had an OR of 0.5 (95% CI, 0.2-1.0) compared with nondrinking men. The OR for the comparison in GEMS was 0.7 (95% CI, 0.6-0.9) for women and 0.7 (95% CI, 0.2-0.9) for men. In both studies, the detrimental effect of smoking was more pronounced among nondrinkers. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Alcohol consumption exhibits a dose-dependent inverse association with MS. Furthermore, alcohol consumption is associated with attenuation of the effect of smoking. Our findings may have relevance for clinical practice because they give no support for advising patients with MS to completely refrain from alcohol
06 May 2014 In General Health

 

 

 

Background Reduced heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of cardiac autonomic dysfunction, is a risk factor for coronary artery disease. Diet can influence HRV, but this association may be confounded by genetic and environmental factors. Methods and Results We administered the Willett Food Frequency Questionnaire to 276 middle-aged male twins. We derived a score measuring the extent to which an individual's diet conformed to the Mediterranean diet following a published algorithm. The higher the score, the greater the similarity to the Mediterranean diet. All twins underwent 24-hour ambulatory ECG recording. Time and frequency domain measures of HRV were calculated. Mixed-effects regression was used to partition the association into between- and within-twin pair differences. After adjusting for energy intake, other nutritional factors, shared genes, and common environment, a 1-unit higher score was significantly associated with 3.9% to 13% higher time and frequency domain HRV parameters. Further controlling for known cardiovascular risk factors and use of fish oil supplements and medications did not substantially change the estimates. Conclusions The Mediterranean dietary pattern is associated with higher HRV.

 

 

 

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