27 October 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.

27 October 2022 In Cardiovascular System

Over the past several decades, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) has nearly doubled, and alcohol has played a major role in the incidence of much of it. Alcohol has also been attributed in deaths due to infectious diseases, intentional and unintentional injuries, digestive diseases, and several other non-communicable diseases, including cancer. The economic costs of alcohol-associated health outcomes are significant at the individual as well as the country level. Risks due to alcohol consumption increase for most cardiovascular diseases, including hypertensive heart disease, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation and flutter, and stroke. The widespread message for over 30 years has been to promote the myth that alcohol prolongs life, chiefly by reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Lack of universal advice and stringent policy measures have contributed towards increased uptake and easy availability of alcohol. The WHO has called for a 10% relative reduction in the harmful use of alcohol between 2013-2025. However, lack of investment in proven alcohol control strategies, as well as persistence of misinformation and industry interference, have hindered the efforts of public health professionals to make sufficient progress in reducing alcohol related harms and death.

22 September 2022 In General Health

INTRODUCTION: Chronic pain represents a global health problem with a considerable economic burden. The relation of alcohol intake and chronic pain conditions was assessed in several studies with conflicting results. We used dose-response meta-analysis techniques to answer the question of whether alcohol intake is related to chronic pain occurrence.

METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, and other databases to identify cohort and case-control studies on alcohol consumption and chronic pain. Sixteen studies were eligible with a total population of 642 587 individuals. Fixed-effects and random-effects pooled estimates were obtained by weighting log odds ratios (ORs) in case-control studies and log incidence rate ratios in cohort studies by the inverse of their variance. A heterogeneity assessment and a dose-response analysis were carried out. Quality scoring was also performed.

RESULTS: Our results show that any alcohol consumption was related to lower odds of chronic pain (pooled OR=0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.61-0.95). The association was non-linear. The ORs by quartile of alcohol doses were as follows: OR2nd quartile=0.74; 95% CI, 0.64-0.87; OR3rd quartile=0.67; 95% CI, 0.53-0.86; and OR4th quartile=0.75; 95% CI, 0.50-1.14. This association was observed for cohort studies (OR=0.77; 95% CI, 0.61-0.98) and European studies (OR=0.65; 95% CI, 0.48-0.87) only. Studies with complete adjustment for confounding factors showed a stronger relation than those with incomplete adjustment (OR=0.69; 95% CI, 0.48-0.99 and OR=0.85; 95% CI, 0.65-1.11, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Alcohol consumption presents a non-linear inverse association with the occurrence of chronic pain. Although plausible mechanisms could explain this protective effect, other explanations, including reverse causation, are probable.

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: <70 g/week) and moderate consumers (C2). We created a new tool, called LACU (Lifetime Alcohol Consuming Unit) to estimate the alcohol exposure across lifetime: 1 LACU was defined as 7 alcohol units per week for 1 drinking year. Patients were divided into lifelong abstainers and consumers and the latter furtherly divided into quartiles: Q1-Q4. Stratification according to alcohol intake, both current and cumulative as estimated by LACU, showed that very low consumers (C1 and Q1-Q3) displayed lower frequency of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma compared to abstainers and moderate consumers (C2 and Q4). We can speculate that up to one glass of wine daily in the context of a Mediterranean diet may be a long-term useful approach in selected NAFLD patients.
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