23 November 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Frailty is a common geriatric syndrome in old people. It remains controversial whether Mediterranean diet could prevent old people from developing into frailty. The aim of this study is to summarize the relevant studies and assess the effectiveness of adherence to Mediterranean diet on frailty in old people.

METHOD: A systematic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials was conducted to identify all relevant studies up to Oct 2017. We included studies regarding the associations between adherence to Mediterranean diet and risk of frailty among elders. A meta-analysis was performed to explore the effects of Mediterranean diet on frailty.

RESULTS: Six studies matched the inclusion criteria, of which five were prospective and one was cross-sectional. A total of 10,210 participants from the five prospective cohort studies were included to perform the meta-analyses. In comparison with lowest adherence to Mediterranean diet, elders with highest adherence to Mediterranean diet were significantly associated with lower risk of frailty in the future (RR= 0.56, 95% CI=0.36-0.89, p=0.015). Furthermore, the pooled estimates from four studies performed among participants in western countries (European and North American) showed that higher adherence to Mediterranean diet was associated with a 52% reduced risk of frailty (RR= 0.48, 95% CI=0.32-0.72, p<0.001). However, one study showed no association between Mediterranean diet and frailty among Asian elders (RR=1.06, 95% CI=0.83-1.36, p=0.638).

CONCLUSION: A higher adherence to Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of frailty in old people. Meanwhile, the benefits may be more obvious among elders from western countries.

23 November 2020 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Stroke is the most common cardiovascular disorder after heart disease and one of the major causes of death and disability. Mediterranean diet has proven to be an effective means to prevent cardiovascular diseases and may contribute to the prevention of stroke. This overview aims to analyze all reviews that examine the association between Mediterranean diet pattern and stroke.

METHODS: We conducted a literature search on PubMed and Scopus databases, using the keywords "Mediterranean diet" and "Stroke". All studies were selected evaluating the association between the Mediterranean diet and the prevention of stroke and only systematic reviews, meta-analysis and narrative reviews were included.

RESULT: 25 eligible articles were included (16 narrative reviews, 9 systematic reviews, 6 systematic reviews with meta-analyses). The authors stated that Mediterranean diet may be a useful means of preventing stroke, especially the 6 meta-analyses highlighted that high adherence to Mediterranean diet was protective against stroke, with a relative risk ranging from 0,64 (95% CI 0,48-0,88) to 0,90 (95% CI 0,87-0,93). Moderate adherence has not shown significant results.

CONCLUSION: A high adherence to the Mediterranean diet is inversely associated with stroke risk, and can modify the costs of its management, therefore the prevention policies should implement adherence to this healthy diet.

25 August 2020 In Cardiovascular System
BACKGROUND: This study investigated the dose-response relationship between alcohol consumption and CVD incidence, conducting a meta-analysis of studies focusing on residents from local communities. Further, we examined whether light to moderate alcohol consumption had a protective effect on CVD incidence through a sub-group analysis. METHODS: This study conducted a meta-analysis of the relationship between alcohol consumption and CVD incidence, selecting journals published up to December 2017. The alcohol consumption level was classified into non-consumers, light (0.01-10.0 g/day), light to moderate (10.1-20.0 g/day), moderate (20.1-40.0 g/day), moderate to high (40.1-60.0 g/day), and high (> 60.0 g/day) groups. The sub-group analysis was conducted according to the number of comorbidities and age. RESULTS: Seven articles were selected in total for the meta-analysis. The mean Newcastle-Ottawa scale score was 8.14 points, suggesting studies were of high quality. There was a J-shaped dose-response relationship between alcohol consumption level and CVD incidence only in men. In general, light to moderate and moderate consumption lowered CVD incidence (Relative risk (RR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] was 0.68 [0.57-0.81] and 0.72 [0.58-0.90], respectively). In men with 3-4 comorbidities, there were no protective effects of light to moderate and moderate consumption on CVD incidence. In either groups of only men or men and women there were protective effects of light to moderate and moderate consumption on CVD incidence only in those aged between 41 and 65. DISCUSSION: We found that light to moderate and moderate alcohol consumption had a protective effect on CVD incidence, there was no protective effect either in those with at least three comorbidities or people aged 40 or younger. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that not all local community residents experience a protective effect of light to moderate consumption on CVD incidence. As such, it is necessary to recommend a moderate amount of drinking or less for each individual.
25 August 2020 In Pregnant Women

In this article, we follow the approach taken by Riesch and Spiegalhalter in "Careless pork costs lives': Risk stories from science to press release to media' published in this journal, and offer an assessment of one example of a 'risk story'.

Using content and thematic qualitative analysis, we consider how the findings of an article 'Fetal Alcohol Exposure and IQ at Age 8: Evidence from a Population-Based Birth-Cohort Study' were framed in the article itself, the associated press release, and the subsequent extensive media coverage. We contextualise this consideration of a risk story by discussing a body of work that critically engages with the development and global proliferation of efforts to advocate for alcohol abstinence to pregnant (and pre-pregnant) women.

This work considers the 'democratisation' of risk, a term used to draw attention to the expansion of the definition of the problem of drinking in pregnancy to include any drinking and all women. We show here how this risk story contributed a new dimension to the democratisation of risk through claims that were made about uncertainty and certainty. A central argument we make concerns the contribution of the researchers themselves (not just lobby groups or journalists) to this outcome.

We conclude that the democratisation of risk was advanced in this case not simply through journalists exaggerating and misrepresenting research findings, but that communication to the press and the initial interpretation of findings played their part. We suggest that this risk story raises concerns about the accuracy of reporting of research findings, and about the communication of unwarrantedly worrying messages to pregnant women about drinking alcohol.

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