23 February 2022 In General Health

Wine is an essential part of European culture. Unfortunately, the consumption of alcohol, such as wine, can have negative health effects. Health warning labels (HWLs) are increasingly presented as a measure to warn consumers of the threat alcohol poses to their health. At present, only a few countries in Europe have introduced mandatory HWLs on wine bottles. This may be due to the cultural and economic significance of wine and the European public’s refusal to accept HWLs on a product like wine.

To investigate this issue, we conducted an online experiment in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and assessed the perception of risk in participants who were presented wine bottles featuring different types of HWLs. We also studied how health beliefs and cultural worldviews influence the perception and acceptance of HWLs. Our study revealed a small effect of HWLs on consumers’ risk perception. There was no difference between a simple text-only HWL and a label featuring a deterring picture (image-and-text HWL).

The major determinants of HWL acceptability were cultural worldviews and health beliefs. That is, participants who opposed government intervention for collective wellbeing and espoused a belief in the health benefits of wine were less likely to accept HWLs on wine. More research is needed to assess the effectiveness of HWLs in real-life situations and the importance of culture to the acceptance of such a public intervention measure.

23 February 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Wine consumption has a particular place in the culture of many European countries, and beliefs that wine offers health benefits are widespread. High consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages among many Europeans correlates with alcohol-related accidents and disease burdens. Health warning labels (HWLs) on alcohol containers have been increasingly recommended to deter consumers from drinking. However, findings on the impact of HWLs on consumers' behavior have been mixed. Moreover, many European consumers have been found to reject the use of warning labels as a policy intervention, especially for wine, perhaps due to its cultural and economic importance.

METHODS: An online study with a between-subjects design was conducted in Switzerland (N = 506) to assess whether HWLs can influence the perceived risk associated with drinking wine and vodka, a beverage insignificant to Swiss culture. Participants were presented an image of either a wine or vodka bottle with or without an HWL presenting a liver cancer warning statement. They were then asked to indicate their perceived risk of regularly consuming the depicted beverage. Acceptance and rejection of HWLs were also assessed.

RESULTS: The perceived risk of vodka consumption exceeded the corresponding risk for wine but was unaffected by an HWL. Perceived health benefits were the main, negative predictor of perceived consumption risk. Participants mainly rejected HWLs due to their perceived effectiveness, perceived positive health effects, social norms, and individualistic values.

CONCLUSIONS: Perceived risk is an important determinant of drinking behavior, and our results suggest that HWLs may be unable to alter risk perceptions. Furthermore, a strong belief in the health benefits of alcohol consumption, particularly wine consumption, reduce risk perceptions and may be unaffected by HWLs.

26 January 2022 In Cardiovascular System

The consumption of food for pleasure is mainly associated with adverse health effects. This review was carried out to verify recent reports on the impact of chocolate and wine consumption on cardiovascular health, with a particular focus on atherosclerosis. On one side, these products have proven adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, but on the other hand, if consumed in optimal amounts, they have cardiovascular benefits.

The submitted data suggest that the beneficial doses are 30-50 g and 130/250 mL for chocolate and wine, respectively, for women and men. The accumulated evidence indicates that the active ingredients in the products under consideration in this review are phenolic compounds, characterized by anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiplatelet properties. However, there are also some reports of cardioprotective properties of other compounds such as esters, amines, biogenic amines, amino acids, fatty acids, mineral ingredients, and vitamins.

Our narrative review has shown that in meta-analyses of intervention studies, consumption of chocolate and wine was positively associated with the beneficial outcomes associated with the cardiovascular system. In contrast, the assessment with the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) scale did not confirm this phenomenon.

In addition, mechanisms of action of bioactive compounds present in chocolate and wine depend on some factors, such as age, sex, body weight, and the presence of additional medical conditions. Patients using cardiovascular drugs simultaneously with both products should be alert to the risk of pharmacologically relevant interactions during their use.

Our narrative review leads to the conclusion that there is abundant evidence to prove the beneficial impact of consuming both products on cardiovascular health, however some evidence still remains controversial. Many authors of studies included in this review postulated that well-designed, longitudinal studies should be performed to determine the effects of these products and their components on atherosclerosis and other CVD (Cardiovascular Disease) disease.

26 January 2022 In Cardiovascular System
Background Although previous studies have demonstrated a U-shaped relationship between alcohol and sudden cardiac death (SCD), there is a paucity of evidence on the role of alcohol specifically on incident ventricular arrhythmias (VAs). Objective The purpose of this study was to characterize associations of total and beverage-specific alcohol consumption with incident VA and SCD using data from the UK Biobank. Methods Alcohol consumption reported at baseline was calculated as UK standard drinks (8 g of alcohol) per week. Outcomes were assessed through hospitalization and death records. Alcohol consumption was modeled as restricted cubic splines in multivariate Cox regression models and corrected for regression dilution bias. Results We studied 408,712 middle-aged individuals (52.1% female) over a median follow-up time of 11.5 years. A total of 1733 incident VA events and 2044 SCDs occurred. For incident VA, no clear association was seen with total alcohol consumption. Although consumption of greater amounts of spirits was associated with increased VA risk, no other significant beverage-specific associations were observed. For SCD, a U-shaped association was seen for total alcohol consumption, such that consumption of
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