25 October 2016 In Cancer

OBJECTIVE: To determine the association of prediagnostic alcohol consumption with long-term mortality from breast cancer and other causes in a cohort of women with breast cancer.

METHODS: We studied a Michigan-based cohort of 939 women aged 40-84 years, who provided complete information about the type, amount and intensity of prediagnostic alcohol consumption. Associations of alcohol consumption, based on weekly volume of alcohol consumption during the year prior to breast cancer diagnosis, with mortality were evaluated in Cox proportional hazards models, with adjustment for sociodemographic factors, body mass index, smoking, comorbidity, tumor characteristics, and treatment. Differences among covariates were assessed with Pearson chi2 , Student t -tests and Wilcoxon Rank Sum tests. All statistical tests were two-sided.

RESULTS: During a median follow-up of 11 years, 724 deaths occurred overall, with 303 from breast cancer. Fifty-five percent of the women were categorized as drinkers with volume of alcohol consumption ranging from 0.75 to 36.00 drinks/week. In multivariable models, a decreased risk of other-cause mortality was associated with low alcohol drinking (0.75-3.75 drinks/week; HR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.47-0.78), moderate volume alcohol drinking (4.00-9.75 drinks/week; HR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.39-0.85) and low frequency (0.75-3.75 drinks/week) beer and wine intake (HR = 0.69, 95% CI = 0.50-0.96 and HR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.52-0.88 respectively). Although the risk of breast cancer-specific mortality was not statistically significantly associated with moderate (4.00-9.75 drinks/week) and high volume (10.00-36.00 drinks/week) alcohol drinking in the overall cohort (HR = 1.43, 95% CI = 95% 0.97-2.12 and HR = 1.53, 95% CI = 0.87-2.70 respectively), there was a positive association of alcohol consumption with breast cancer-specific mortality among current smokers (HR = 1.92, 95% CI = 1.03-3.57; Pinteraction = 0.04).

CONCLUSION: In this prospective cohort study, regular consumption of 0.75-36.00 alcoholic drinks per week during the year prior to breast cancer diagnosis was associated with a reduction in other-cause mortality and with an increase in breast cancer-specific mortality among current smokers, after taking into account clinical and sociodemographic factors.

25 October 2016 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Percent breast density (PBD) is a strong risk factor for breast cancer that is influenced by several other risk factors for the disease. Alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer with an uncertain association with PBD. We have carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the association of alcohol consumption with PBD.

METHODS: We searched nine databases to identify all relevant studies on the association between alcohol intake and breast density. Two independent investigators evaluated and selected 20 studies that were included in our analyses. We divided the studies into 3 groups according to the methods used to measure and analyze the association of BD with alcohol consumption.

RESULTS: Meta-analysis of the 11 studies that used quantitative methods to measure and analyse PBD as a continuous variable found a statistically significant difference in PBD when comparing the highest to the lowest alcohol level (beta = 0.84, 95% CI 0.12, 1.56). Three studies that used quantitative methods to measure PBD and categories of PBD for analysis had a summary odds ratio = 1.81 (95% CI: 1.07, 3.04). Five studies that used categories to classify PBD and analyse their association with alcohol intake had a summary odds ratio=1.78 (95% CI: 0.90, 3.51).

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that there is a positive association between alcohol intake and PBD. IMPACT: Alcohol may increase the risk of breast cancer associated with PMB.

21 September 2016 In Liver Disease

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are the most frequent chronic liver disorders, and their advanced forms - alcoholic steatohepatitis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis - are the most frequent conditions leading to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. NAFLD is considered as the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. With the pandemic rise of obesity, the incidence of NAFLD is also further increasing, and considering the life style in modern societies, there is a significant overlap of (risk factors causing) NAFLD and (alcohol consumption predisposing for) ALD at least in Western countries. Epidemiological studies propose a causative link between chronic alcohol consumption and progressive liver disease in obese individuals. Furthermore, experimental studies indicate combined pathological effects of alcohol and obesity or fatty acid levels, respectively, on hepatocellular lipid accumulation and injury as well as hepatic inflammation, fibrosis and cancerogenesis. Notably, these combined pathological effects are in part additive but partly even synergistic. And importantly, alcohol does already exhibit synergistic pathological effects with obesity at moderate doses. This indicates significant differences in the dose threshold for hepatotoxic alcohol effects in lean and obese subjects and herewith also has important implications for recommendations for 'safe' alcohol consumption. The purpose of this brief review is to update the knowledge on the combined effects of alcohol and obesity on the development and progression of liver disease. Undoubtedly, alcohol and the metabolic syndrome appear as a dangerous mix, and there are important interactive effects of either condition with regard to crucial triggers of liver injury.

21 September 2016 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Moderate alcohol consumption has been reported to be associated with a decreased risk of cardiometabolic diseases. Whether drinking pattern is associated with the risk of proteinuria is unknown.

METHODS: Study subjects were 9154 non-diabetic Japanese men aged 40-55 years, with an estimated glomerular filtration rate >/=60 mL/min/1.73 m(2), no proteinuria, and no use of antihypertensive medications at entry. Data on alcohol consumption were obtained by questionnaire. We defined "consecutive proteinuria" as proteinuria detected twice consecutively as 1+ or higher on urine dipstick at annual examinations.

RESULTS: During the 81 147 person-years follow-up period, 385 subjects developed consecutive proteinuria. For subjects who reported drinking 4-7 days per week, alcohol consumption of 0.1-23.0 g ethanol/drinking day was significantly associated with a decreased risk of consecutive proteinuria (hazard ratio [HR] 0.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.36-0.80) compared with non-drinkers. However, alcohol consumption of >/=69.1 g ethanol/drinking day was significantly associated with an increased risk of consecutive proteinuria (HR 1.78; 95% CI, 1.01-3.14). For subjects who reported drinking 1-3 days per week, alcohol consumption of 0.1-23.0 g ethanol/drinking day was associated with a decreased risk of consecutive proteinuria (HR 0.76; 95% CI, 0.51-1.12), and alcohol consumption of >/=69.1 g ethanol/drinking day was associated with an increased risk of consecutive proteinuria (HR 1.58; 95% CI, 0.72-3.46), but these associations did not reach statistical significance.

CONCLUSIONS: Men with frequent alcohol consumption of 0.1-23.0 g ethanol/drinking day had the lowest risk of consecutive proteinuria, while those with frequent alcohol consumption of >/=69.1 g ethanol/drinking day had an increased risk of consecutive proteinuria.

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