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.

25 August 2020 In General Health

The beneficial association of the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) with longevity has been consistently demonstrated, but the associations of MedDiet components have not been accordingly evaluated. We performed an updated meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies published up to 31 December 2017, to quantify the association of adherence to MedDiet, expressed as an index/score (MDS) and of its components with all-cause mortality.

We estimated summary relative risks (SRR) and 95 % CI using random effects models. On the basis of thirty studies (225 600 deaths), SRR for the study-specific highest/lowest and per 1sd MDS increment were 0.79 (95 % CI 0.77, 0.81, Iota 2=42 %, P-heterogeneity 0.02) and 0.92 (95 % CI 0.90, 0.94, Iota 2 56 %, P-heterogeneity <0.01), respectively. Inversely, statistically significant associations were evident in stratified analyses by country, MDS range and publication year, with some evidence for heterogeneity across countries overall (P-heterogeneity 0.011), as well as across European countries (P=0.018).

Regarding MDS components, relatively stronger and statistically significant inverse associations were highlighted for moderate/none-excessive alcohol consumption (0.86, 95 % CI 0.77, 0.97) and for above/below-the-median consumptions of fruit (0.88, 95 % CI 0.83, 0.94) and vegetables (0.94, 95 % CI 0.89, 0.98), whereas a positive association was apparent for above/below-the-median intake of meat (1.07, 95 % CI 1.01, 1.13).

Our meta-analyses confirm the inverse association of MedDiet with mortality and highlight the dietary components that influence mostly this association. Our results are important for better understanding the role of MedDiet in health and proposing dietary changes to effectively increase adherence to this healthy dietary pattern

25 August 2020 In Diabetes

BACKGROUND: Previous cohort studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, whether these associations differ according to the characteristics of patients with T2D remains controversial.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to explore and summarize the evidence on the strength of the association between alcohol consumption and the subsequent risk of T2D by using a dose-response meta-analytic approach.

DESIGN: We identified potential studies by searching the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases up to 24 March 2015. Prospective observational studies that evaluated the relation between alcohol consumption and the risk of T2D and reported its effect estimates with 95% CIs were included.

RESULTS: Analyses were based on 706,716 individuals (275,711 men and 431,005 women) from 26 studies with 31,621 T2D cases. We detected a nonlinear relation between alcohol consumption and the risk of T2D, which was identified in all cohorts (P-trend < 0.001, P-nonlinearity < 0.001), in men (P-trend < 0.001, P-nonlinearity < 0.001), and in women (P-trend < 0.001, P-nonlinearity < 0.001). Compared with the minimal category of alcohol consumption, light (RR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.73, 0.95; P = 0.005) and moderate (RR: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.67, 0.82; P < 0.001) alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of T2D. However, heavy alcohol consumption had little or no effect on subsequent T2D risk. Furthermore, the summary RR ratio (RRR; male to female) of the comparison between moderate alcohol consumption and the minimal alcohol categories for T2D was significantly higher, and the pooled RRR (current smoker to never smoker) of light alcohol consumption was significantly reduced.

CONCLUSIONS: Light and moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of T2D, whereas heavy alcohol consumption was not related to the risk of T2D

25 August 2020 In Diabetes

AIMS/INTRODUCTION: Previous meta-analyses identified an inverse association of total alcohol consumption with the risk of type 2 diabetes. The current study further explored the relationship between specific types of alcoholic beverage and the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A search of PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library databases from January 1966 to February 2016 was carried out for prospective cohort studies that assessed the effects of specific types of alcoholic beverage on the risk of type 2 diabetes. The pooled relative risks with 95% confidence interval were calculated using random- or fixed-effect models when appropriate.

RESULTS: A total of 13 prospective studies were included in this meta-analysis, with 397,296 study participants and 20,641 cases of type 2 diabetes. Relative to no or rare alcohol consumption, wine consumption was associated with a significant reduction of the risk of type 2 diabetes, with the pooled relative risks of 0.85, whereas beer or spirits consumption led to a slight trend of decreasing risk of type 2 diabetes (relative risk 0.96, 0.95, respectively). Further dose-response analysis showed a U-shaped relationship between all three alcohol types and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the peak risk reduction emerged at 20-30 g/day for wine and beer, and at 7-15 g/day for spirits, with a decrease of 20, 9 and 5%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with beer or spirits, wine was associated with a more significant decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. The present study showed that wine might be more helpful for protection against type 2 diabetes than beer or spirits

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