28 September 2023 In General Health

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the effects of providing access to an alcohol intervention based on a smartphone.

DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial..

SETTING: Four higher education institutions in Switzerland.

PARTICIPANTS: 1770 students (>/=18 years) who screened positive for unhealthy alcohol use (ie, a score on the alcohol use disorders identification test-consumption (AUDIT-C) of >/=4 for men and >/=3 for women) were randomly assigned by 1:1 allocation ratio in blocks of 10.

INTERVENTION: Providing access to a brief, smartphone based alcohol intervention.

OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome studied was number of standard drinks per week at six months and the secondary outcome was number of heavy drinking days (past 30 days). Additional outcomes were maximum number of drinks consumed on one occasion, alcohol related consequences, and academic performance. Follow-up assessments occurred at months three, six, and 12. Data were analysed by intention to treat and by using generalised linear mixed models with random intercepts for the recruitment site and participants nested within the recruitment site, and with intervention (v control), time (three months v six months; 12 months v six months), and baseline outcome values as fixed effects.

RESULTS: Between 26 April 26 2021 and 30 May 2022, 1770 participants (intervention group (n=884); control group (n=886)) were included. Mean age was 22.4 years (standard deviation 3.07); 958 (54.1%) were women; and 1169 (66.0%) were undergraduate students, 533 (30.1%) were studying for a master's degree, 43 (2.4%) were studying for a doctorate, and 25 (1.4%) were students of other higher education programme. The baseline mean number of standard drinks per week was 8.59 (standard deviation 8.18); the baseline number of heavy drinking days was 3.53 (4.02). Of 1770 participants, follow-up rates were 1706 (96.4%) at three months, 1697 (95.9%) at six months, and 1660 (93.8%) at 12 months. Of 884 students randomly assigned to the intervention group, 738 (83.5%) downloaded the smartphone application. The intervention had a significant overall effect on the number of standard drinks per week (incidence rate ratio 0.90 (95% confidence interval 0.85 to 0.96)), heavy drinking days (0.89 (0.83 to 0.96)), and the maximum number of drinks consumed on one occasion (0.96 (0.93 to 1.00), P=0.029), indicating significantly lower drinking outcomes in the intervention group than in the control group during the follow-up period. The intervention did not affect alcohol related consequences or academic performance.

CONCLUSIONS: Providing access to the smartphone application throughout the 12 month follow-up was effective at limiting the average drinking volume of university students who had self-reported unhealthy alcohol use at baseline.


28 September 2023 In General Health

BACKGROUND: In this study, we examined the effect of alcohol, as well as the combined effect of seven lifestyle factors, on all-cause mortality in older adults (baseline age 70 years).

METHODS: Data was derived from the population-based Gothenburg H70 Birth Cohort study, including 1124 participants from the 2014-16 examination. Risk consumption was defined as > 98 g alcohol per week, and hazardous drinking was based on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption questionnaire (AUDIT-C). Cox regression models were used to examine the individual effect of alcohol consumption, as well as the combined effect of seven lifestyle risk factors (high alcohol consumption, lifetime smoking, unhealthy Body Mass Index, insufficient physical activity, sedentary behavior, insufficient/prolonged sleep, unhealthy dietary pattern) on all-cause mortality.

RESULTS: During a mean follow-up of 7.7 years, 81 (7.2%) participants died. Neither risk consumption nor hazardous drinking were associated with elevated mortality, but hazardous drinking was associated with an increased risk of mortality in those with insufficient physical activity. Those with at least five lifestyle risk factors had an increased all-cause mortality compared to those fulfilling criteria for a maximum of one lifestyle risk factor. High alcohol consumption showed a relatively minor impact on this risk, while physical activity and unhealthy dietary pattern had an independent effect on mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: In this particular sample, there was no independent effect of alcohol on the risk of 8-year all-cause mortality. However, an interaction effect of physical activity was observed. It may be that high alcohol consumption per se is less important for mortality among older adults. However, a combination of several unhealthy lifestyle behaviors was linked to a substantial increase in the risk of mortality in Swedish older adults. Also, it has to be emphasized that high alcohol consumption may have other adverse health effects apart from mortality among older adults.

28 September 2023 In Drinking Patterns

INTRODUCTION: Recent research found that drinking alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) could be riskier than drinking alcohol alone. Our aim was to compare rates of risk behaviors in consumers of AmED versus exclusive alcohol drinkers, matching them based on their drinking frequency.

METHODS: Data about 16-year-old students who reported the number of occasions on which they had drunk AmED or alcohol only in the preceding 12 months (n = 32,848) were drawn from the 2019 ESPAD study. After matching for consumption frequency, the sample consisted of 22,370 students (11,185 AmED consumers and 11,185 exclusive alcohol drinkers). Key predictors comprised substance use, other individual risk behaviors, and family characteristics (parental regulation, monitoring, and caring).

RESULTS: The multivariate analysis showed significantly higher odds of being AmED consumers compared to being exclusive alcohol drinkers in the majority of the investigated risk behaviors, including: daily tobacco smoking, illicit drug use, heavy episodic drinking, truancy at school, engaging in physical fights and serious arguments, having troubles with the police, and having unprotected sexual intercourse. Instead, lower odds were found for reporting high parents' educational level, medium and low family economic status, perceived possibility to freely talk about problems to family members, spending free time reading books or other hobbies.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that, given the same consumption frequency in the past year, AmED consumers typically reported higher associations with risk-taking behaviors compared to exclusive alcohol drinkers. These findings advance past research that failed to control for the frequency of AmED use versus exclusive alcohol consumption.

28 September 2023 In Cardiovascular System

Wine is a complex matrix consisting primarily of water (86%) and ethyl alcohol (12%), as well as other different molecules, such as polyphenols, organic acids, tannins, compound minerals, vitamins and biologically active compounds which play an important role in the specific characteristics of each wine. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, moderate red wine consumption-defined as up to two units of alcohol per day for men and up to one unit of alcohol per day for women-significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease which represents the major causes of mortality, and disability, in developed countries. We reviewed the available literature concerning the potential relationship between moderate red wine consumption and cardiovascular health. We searched Medline, Scopus and Web of Science (WOS) for randomized controlled studies and case-control studies published from 2002 to 2022. A total of 27 articles were selected for the review. According to epidemiological evidence, drinking red wine in moderation lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Red wine contains both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ingredients; however, it is yet unclear which is to blame for these effects. Combining wine with the diet of healthy individuals may add additional benefits. New studies should focus more on the characterization of the individual components of wine, to allow the analysis and study of the impact of each of them on the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.

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