23 November 2022 In General Health

Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and is interrelated to stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. The Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) has been closely associated with reduced CVD morbidity and mortality, but research is not well explored for this relationship in individuals with diabetes (who experience greater CVD morbidity and mortality than individuals without diabetes). The aim of this review was to explore the literature related to the MedDiet and atherosclerosis and associated risk factors in individuals with and without diabetes. In total, 570 articles were identified, and 36 articles were included. The articles were published between 2011 and 2021. Platforms used for the search were PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, and ProQuest. Our literature search included clinical and observational studies. Clinical studies revealed the MedDiet was associated with improved biomarkers, plaque, and anthropometric measurements that are associated with atherosclerosis and CVD. Observational studies identified associations between the MedDiet and lower presence of atherosclerosis, improved vascular aging, and increased endothelial progenitor cells. However, most of the studies took place in Mediterranean countries. Further research is needed to better understand the long-term effects the MedDiet on atherosclerosis and its associated risk factors in diverse populations to include individuals with and without diabetes.

23 November 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol is a discretionary, energy dense, dietary component. Compared to non-drinkers, people who consume alcohol report higher total energy intake and may be at increased risk of weight gain, overweight, and obesity, which are key preventable risk factors for illness. However, accurate consumer knowledge of the energy content in alcohol is low. To inform future behaviour change interventions among drinkers, this study investigated individual characteristics associated with changing alcohol consumption due to energy-related concerns.

METHODS: An online survey was undertaken with 801 Australian adult drinkers (18-59 years, 50.2% female), i.e. who consumed alcohol at least monthly. In addition to demographic and health-related characteristics, participants reported past-year alcohol consumption, past-year reductions in alcohol consumption, frequency of harm minimisation strategy use (when consuming alcohol), and frequency of changing alcohol consumption behaviours because of energy-related concerns.

RESULTS: When prompted, 62.5% of participants reported changing alcohol consumption for energy-related reasons at least 'sometimes'. Women, those aged 30-44 years, metropolitan residents, those with household income $80,001-120,000, and risky/more frequent drinkers had increased odds of changing consumption because of energy-related concerns, and unemployed respondents had reduced odds.

CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that some sociodemographic groups are changing alcohol consumption for energy-related reasons, but others are not, representing an underutilised opportunity for health promotion communication. Further research should investigate whether messaging to increase awareness of alcohol energy content, including through systems-based policy actions such as nutritional/energy product labelling, would motivate reduced consumption across a broader range of drinkers.

23 November 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Studies evaluating alcohol consumption and cardiovascular diseases have shown inconsistent results. METHODS: We performed a systematic review of peer-reviewed publications from an extensive query of Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, Ovid Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Scopus, and Web of Science from database inception to March 2022 for all studies that reported the association between alcohol consumption in terms of quantity (daily or weekly amounts) and type of beverage (wine, beer or spirit) and cardiovascular disease events.

RESULTS: The study population included a total of 1,579,435 individuals based on 56 cohorts from several countries. We found that moderate wine consumption defined as 1-4 drinks per week was associated with a reduction in risk for cardiovascular mortality when compared with beer or spirits. However, higher risk for cardiovascular disease mortality was typically seen with heavier daily or weekly alcohol consumption across all types of beverages.

CONCLUSIONS: It is possible that the observational studies may overestimate the benefits of alcohol for cardiovascular disease outcomes. Although moderate wine consumption is probably associated with low cardiovascular disease events, there are many confounding factors, in particular, lifestyle, genetic, and socioeconomic associations with wine drinking, which likely explain much of the association with wine and reduced cardiovascular disease events. Further prospective study of alcohol and all-cause mortality, including cancer, is needed.

23 November 2022 In Cardiovascular System

OBJECTIVES: Many studies have found that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with lower risks of mortality and myocardial infarction (MI). Our aim was to examine the potential effects of alcohol on all-cause mortality and MI in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a risk factor condition.

METHODS: A cohort study (1995-2017) was conducted using medical records of RA patients from The Health Improvement Network in the United Kingdom (UK). Alcohol exposure was divided into non-drinkers, mild (1-7 UK units/week), moderate (8-14 UK units/week), moderate-high (15-21 UK units/week), and high (>21 UK units/week) consumption levels. We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) for the relation of alcohol consumption to all-cause mortality and MI, adjusting for covariates.

RESULTS: Of 30,320 RA patients, 5,994 deaths and 1,098 MI cases occurred over 236,188 person-years. Mild-to-moderate alcohol use was associated with lower all-cause mortality in RA patients, including those taking methotrexate. The multivariable HRs (95% CI) for mortality by alcohol use category were non-drinkers 1.0, mild 0.80 (0.75-0.85), moderate 0.74 (0.67-0.82), moderate-high 0.84 (0.72-0.98), and high 0.99 (0.86-1.15). Mild, moderate-high, and high levels of alcohol use were associated with lower risk of MI among RA patients. The HRs MI risk by alcohol use category were non-drinkers 1.0, mild 0.81 (0.70-0.94), moderate 0.84 (0.68-1.04), moderate-high 0.51 (0.35-0.74), and high 0.59 (0.42-0.84).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that mild-to-moderate alcohol use is associated with a lower mortality risk and overall alcohol use is associated with a lower MI risk in RA patients, similar to the general population.

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