21 September 2016 In Cancer

Alcohol intake has been related to an increased risk of breast cancer (BC) while dietary fiber intake has been inversely associated to BC risk. A beneficial effect of fibers on ethanol carcinogenesis through their impact on estrogen levels is still controversial. We investigated the role of dietary fiber as a modifying factor of the association of alcohol and breast cancer using data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). This study included 334,850 women aged 35-70 years at baseline enrolled in the ten countries of the EPIC study and followed up for 11.0 years on average. Information on fiber and alcohol intake at baseline and average lifetime alcohol intake were calculated from country-specific dietary and lifestyle questionnaires. Hazard ratios (HR) of developing invasive breast cancer according to different levels of alcohol and fiber intake were computed. During 3,670,439 person-years, 11,576 incident breast cancer cases were diagnosed. For subjects with low intake of fiber (<18.5 g/day), the risk of BC per 10g/day of alcohol intake was 1.06 (1.03-1.08) while among subjects with high intake of fiber (>24.2 g/day) the risk of BC was 1.02 (0.99-1.05) (test for interaction p=0.011). This modulating effect was stronger for fiber from vegetables. Our results suggest that fiber intake may modulate the positive association of alcohol intake and BC.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc

02 August 2016 In Social and Cultural Aspects

Adolescence is a time that can set the course of alcohol abuse later in life. Sensitivity to reward on multiple levels is a major factor in this development. We examined 736 adolescents from the IMAGEN longitudinal study for alcohol drinking during early (mean age=14.37) and again later (mean age=16.45) adolescence. Conducting structural equation modeling we evaluated the contribution of reward-related personality traits, behavior, brain responses and candidate genes. Personality seems to be most important in explaining alcohol drinking in early adolescence. However, genetic variations in ANKK1 (rs1800497) and HOMER1 (rs7713917) play an equal role in predicting alcohol drinking two years later and are most important in predicting the increase in alcohol consumption. We hypothesize that the initiation of alcohol use may be driven more strongly by personality while the transition to increased alcohol use is more genetically influenced.

02 August 2016 In Liver Disease
BACKGROUND: Fatty liver (hepatic steatosis) is one of the most common diseases globally, with increasing prevalence. The role of alcohol consumption in the development of hepatic steatosis has not been systematically examined. METHODS: We searched Medline, Embase, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global for original data on the relationship between alcohol consumption and hepatic steatosis measured by non-invasive imagery, excluding studies conducted in participants
02 August 2016 In General Health

OBJECTIVE: To examine if and how older adults modify their drinking after health deterioration, and the factors that motivate changing or maintaining stable drinking behaviour.

STUDY DESIGN: Explanatory follow-up mixed-methods research.

METHODS: The association between health deterioration and changes in alcohol consumption was examined using secondary data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, a biennial prospective cohort study of a random sample of adults aged 50 years and older living in England. Data were collected through a personal interview and self-completion questionnaire across three waves between 2004 and 2009. The sample size (response rate) across the three waves was 8781 (49.9%), 7168 (40.3%) and 6623 (37.3%). The Chi-squared test was used to examine associations between diagnosis with a long-term condition or a worsening of self-rated health (e.g. from good to fair or fair to poor) and changes in drinking frequency (e.g. everyday, 5-6 days per week, etc.) and volume (ethanol consumed on a drinking day) between successive waves. In-depth interviews with 19 older adults recently diagnosed with a long-term condition were used to explore the factors that influenced change or maintenance in alcohol consumption over time. A purposive sampling strategy was used to recruit a diverse sample of current and former drinkers from voluntary and community organizations in the north of England. An inductive approach was used to analyze the data, facilitating the development of an a posteriori framework for understanding drinking change.

RESULTS: There was no significant relationship between health deterioration and changes in drinking volume over time. There was however a significant association between health deterioration and changes in drinking frequency between successive waves (chi2 = 15.24, P < 0.001 and chi2 = 17.28, P < 0.001). For example, of participants reporting health deterioration between the first two waves, 47.6% had stable drinking frequency, 23.4% increased their drinking frequency and 29% reported decreased drinking frequency. In comparison, of participants reporting no health deterioration, 52.7% reported stable frequency, 20.8% increased frequency and 26.4% decreased frequency. In qualitative interviews, older adults described a wide range of factors that influence changes in drinking behaviour: knowledge gained from talking to healthcare professionals, online and in the media; tangible negative experiences that were attributed to drinking; mood and emotions (e.g. joy); the cost of alcohol; pub closures; and changes in social roles and activities. Health was just one part of a complex mix of factors that influenced drinking among older adults.

CONCLUSION: Patterns of drinking change after health deterioration in older adults are diverse, including stable, increasing and decreasing alcohol consumption over time. Although health motivations to change drinking influence behaviour in some older adults, social and financial motivations to drink are also important in later life and thus a holistic approach is required to influence behaviour.

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