26 August 2022 In Liver Disease
The role of moderate alcohol consumption in the evolution of NAFLD is still debated. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of current and lifelong alcohol consumption in patients with NAFLD. From 2015 to 2020, we enrolled 276 consecutive patients fulfilling criteria of NAFLD (alcohol consumption up to 140 g/week for women and 210 g/week for men). According to their current alcohol intake per week, patients were divided in: abstainers, very low consumers (C1:
26 August 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: The health risks associated with moderate alcohol consumption continue to be debated. Small amounts of alcohol might lower the risk of some health outcomes but increase the risk of others, suggesting that the overall risk depends, in part, on background disease rates, which vary by region, age, sex, and year.

METHODS: For this analysis, we constructed burden-weighted dose-response relative risk curves across 22 health outcomes to estimate the theoretical minimum risk exposure level (TMREL) and non-drinker equivalence (NDE), the consumption level at which the health risk is equivalent to that of a non-drinker, using disease rates from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2020 for 21 regions, including 204 countries and territories, by 5-year age group, sex, and year for individuals aged 15-95 years and older from 1990 to 2020. Based on the NDE, we quantified the population consuming harmful amounts of alcohol.

FINDINGS: The burden-weighted relative risk curves for alcohol use varied by region and age. Among individuals aged 15-39 years in 2020, the TMREL varied between 0 (95% uncertainty interval 0-0) and 0·603 (0·400-1·00) standard drinks per day, and the NDE varied between 0·002 (0-0) and 1·75 (0·698-4·30) standard drinks per day. Among individuals aged 40 years and older, the burden-weighted relative risk curve was J-shaped for all regions, with a 2020 TMREL that ranged from 0·114 (0-0·403) to 1·87 (0·500-3·30) standard drinks per day and an NDE that ranged between 0·193 (0-0·900) and 6·94 (3·40-8·30) standard drinks per day. Among individuals consuming harmful amounts of alcohol in 2020, 59·1% (54·3-65·4) were aged 15-39 years and 76·9% (73·0-81·3) were male.

INTERPRETATION: There is strong evidence to support recommendations on alcohol consumption varying by age and location. Stronger interventions, particularly those tailored towards younger individuals, are needed to reduce the substantial global health loss attributable to alcohol. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

26 August 2022 In Cardiovascular System

We examined whether the often-reported protective association of alcohol with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk could arise from confounding. Our sample comprised 908 men (56-67 years), free of prevalent CVD. Participants were categorized into 6 groups: never drinkers, former drinkers, and very light (1-4 drinks in past 14 days), light (5-14 drinks), moderate (15-28 drinks), and at-risk (>28 drinks) drinkers.

Generalized linear mixed effect models examined the associations of alcohol use with three established CVD risk scores: The Framingham Risk Score (FRS); the atherosclerotic CVD (ASCVD) risk score; and the Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) Severity score, adjusting for group differences in demographics, body size, and health-related behaviors. In separate models we additionally adjusted for several groups of potentially explanatory factors including socioeconomic status, social support, physical and mental health status, childhood factors, and prior history of alcohol misuse.

Results showed lower CVD risk among light and moderate alcohol drinkers, relative to very light drinkers, for all CVD risk scores, independent of demographics, body size, and health-related behaviors. Alcohol-CVD risk associations were robust to further adjustment for several groups of potential explanatory factors.

Study limitations include the all-male sample with limited racial and ethnic diversity, and the inability to adjust for sugar consumption and for patterns of alcohol consumption.

Although this observational study does not address causation, results show that middle-aged men who consume alcohol in moderation have lower CVD risk and better cardiometabolic health than men who consume little or no alcohol, independent of a variety of health, behavioral, psychosocial, and earlier life factors.

26 August 2022 In Cardiovascular System

AIMS: The association between low-to-moderate alcohol consumption and atrial fibrillation (AF) has yet to be fully elucidated. The main purpose of this meta-analysis was to estimate the risk of incident AF related to low-to-moderate alcohol consumption.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A meta-analysis was performed on 13 publications discussing the estimated risk for AF with habitual low-to-moderate alcohol intake in 10 266 315 participants. Graphical augmentations to the funnel plots were used to illustrate the potential impact of additional evidence on the current meta-analysis. Thirteen eligible studies were included in this meta-analysis. We found that moderate alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of incident AF in males [hazard ratio (HR) 1.09, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07-1.11, P < 0.00001], Europeans (HR 1.32, 95% CI: 1.23-1.42, P < 0.00001), and Asians (HR 1.09, 95% CI: 1.07-1.11, P < 0.00001). Moderate beer consumption was associated with an increased risk of developing AF (HR 1.11, 95% CI: 1.02-1.21, P = 0.01). Low alcohol consumption conferred an increased risk of AF in males (HR 1.14, 95% CI: 1.01-1.28, P = 0.04) and Europeans (HR 1.12, 95% CI: 1.07-1.17, P < 0.00001).

CONCLUSIONS: This analysis represents the increased risk of incident AF in males, Europeans, and Asians at moderate alcohol consumption levels and in males and Europeans at low alcohol consumption levels. Those who drink any preferred alcohol beverage at moderate levels should be cautious for incident AF. More studies are warranted to find those factors that influence alcohol's effect on predisposing AF.

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