11 May 2015 In Cancer

OBJECTIVE: To provide a precise quantification of the association between alcohol and tobacco consumption trends in head and neck cancer patients over the past 45 years.

METHODS: We combined findings from all studies published until March 2014 and evaluated the association between different levels in alcohol and tobacco consumption and head and neck cancers through a meta-analytic approach.

RESULTS: We included 28 studies involving 13830 patients with head and neck cancer. In patients with alcohol consumption, the pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were 1.29(1.06-1.57), 2.67(2.05-3.48) and 6.63(5.02-8.74) for light drinkers, moderate drinkers and heavy drinkers, respectively. In patients with tobacco consumption, the pooled OR and 95% CI were 2.33(1.84-2.95), 4.97(3.67-6.71) and 6.77(4.81-9.53) for light smokers, moderate smokers and heavy smokers, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The increased alcohol and tobacco consumption trends increased the risk of head and neck cancer over the past 45 years. Tobacco consumption was found to be a stronger risk factor for head and neck cancer than alcohol consumption. Thus, the control should be considered to limit the intake of alcohol and tobacco.

23 January 2015 In General Health

The relation between alcohol consumption and mortality is a J-shaped curve in most of the many studies published on this topic. The Copenhagen Prospective Population Studies demonstrated in the year 2000 that wine intake may have a beneficial effect on all cause mortality that is additive to that of alcohol. Wine contains various poliphenolic substances which may be beneficial for health and in particular flavonols (such as myricetin and quercetin), catechin and epicatechin, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, various phenolic acids and the stilbene resveratrol. In particular, resveratrol seems to play a positive effect on longevity because it increases the expression level of Sirt1, besides its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. Moderate wine drinking is part of the Mediterranean diet, together with abundant and variable plant foods, high consumption of cereals, olive oil as the main (added) fat and a low intake of (red) meat. This healthy diet pattern involves a "Mediterranean way of drinking", that is a regular, moderate wine consumption mainly with food (up to two glasses a day for men and one glass for women). Moderate wine drinking increases longevity, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and does not appreciably influence the overall risk of cancer.

23 January 2015 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Although most studies found no association between alcohol intake and prostate cancer (PCa) risk, an analysis of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial found that high alcohol intake significantly increased PCa risk among men randomized to the 5alpha-reductase inhibitor (5-ARI) finasteride.

OBJECTIVE: Determine whether alcohol affects PCa risk among men taking the 5-ARI dutasteride. DESIGN, SETTINGS, AND PARTICIPANTS: Reduction by Dutasteride of Prostate Cancer Events was a 4-yr, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to compare PCa after dutasteride administration (0.5mg/d) with placebo. Participants had a baseline prostate-specific antigen between 2.5 and 10.0 ng/ml and a recent negative prostate biopsy. Alcohol intake was determined by baseline questionnaire, and participants underwent a prostate biopsy to determine PCa status at 2 yr and 4 yr of follow-up.

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Multivariable logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between alcohol intake and low-grade (Gleason <7) and high-grade (Gleason >7) PCa.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Of 6374 participants in our analysis, approximately 25% reported no alcohol consumption, 49% were moderate drinkers (one to seven drinks per week), and 26% were heavy drinkers (more than seven drinks per week). Alcohol intake was not associated with low- or high-grade PCa in the placebo arm and was not associated with low-grade PCa among men taking dutasteride. In contrast, men randomized to dutasteride and reporting more than seven drinks per week were 86% more likely to be diagnosed with high-grade PCa (p=0.01). Among alcohol abstainers, dutasteride was associated with significantly reduced risk of high-grade PCa (OR: 0.59; 95% CI, 0.38-0.90), but dutasteride was no longer associated with reduced high-grade PCa among men reporting high alcohol intake (OR: 0.99; 95% CI, 0.67-1.45).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption negated a protective association between dutasteride and high-grade PCa. PATIENT SUMMARY: We confirmed a prior study that alcohol affects PCa prevention in patients taking 5-ARIs. Patients taking 5-ARIs may wish to eliminate alcohol intake if they are concerned about PCa.

04 December 2014 In Dementia

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether alcohol consumption is causally associated with cognitive impairment in older men as predicted by mendelian randomization.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of a cohort study of 3,542 community-dwelling men aged 65 to 83 years followed for 6 years. Cognitive impairment was established by a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 23 or less. Participants provided detailed information about their use of alcohol during the preceding year and were classified as abstainers, occasional drinkers, and regular drinkers: mild (/=35 drinks/wk). We genotyped the rs1229984 G-->A variant of the alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B) gene, which is associated with lowerprevalence of alcohol abuse and dependence. Other measures included age, education, marital status, smoking and physical activity, body mass index, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.

RESULTS: At study entry, rs1229984 G-->A polymorphism was associated with lower prevalence of regular use of alcohol and decreased consumption among regular users. Six years later, 502 men (14.2%) showed evidence of cognitive impairment. Abstainers and irregular drinkers had higher odds of cognitive impairment than regular drinkers (odds ratio [OR] = 1.23, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.00-1.51, after adjustment for other measured factors). The rs1229984 G-->A polymorphism did not decrease the odds of cognitive impairment (AA/GG OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 0.29-6.27; GA/GG OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.71-1.55).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption, including heavy regular drinking and abuse, is not a direct cause of cognitive impairment in later life. Our results are consistent with the possibility, but do not prove, that regular moderate drinking decreases the risk of cognitive impairment in older men.

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