25 August 2020 In Cardiovascular System
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality for women. This review summarizes the relationship between alcohol consumption and common CVDs in women and highlights potential differences from men. Except for risk of hypertension, no sex-related effects of alcohol consumption on the risk for coronary heart disease and stroke have been reported, and data on the sex-related effects on risk for peripheral arterial disease are limited. For women, alcohol consumption has a J-shaped relationship with hypertension. About 1 to 2 standard drinks per day is associated with lower risk for the development of hypertension, whereas for men, the relationship is relatively linear. In the area of alcoholic cardiomyopathy, the prevalence is greater for men, but women may develop alcoholic cardiomyopathy at a lower lifetime level of alcohol consumption. Overall, data support that 1 to 2 standard drinks per day for women and men is associated with a lower risk of CVD, and higher daily amounts may increase the risk of CVD.
25 August 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol and in particular red wine have both immunomodulatory and neuroprotective properties, and may exert an effect on the disease course of multiple sclerosis (MS).

OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between alcohol and red wine consumption and MS course.

METHODS: MS patients enrolled in the Comprehensive Longitudinal Investigation of Multiple Sclerosis at the Brigham and Women's Hospital (CLIMB) who completed a self-administered questionnaire about their past year drinking habits at a single time point were included in the study. Alcohol and red wine consumption were measured as servings/week. The primary outcome was the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) at the time of the questionnaire. Secondary clinical outcomes were the Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score (MSSS) and number of relapses in the year before the questionnaire. Secondary MRI outcomes included brain parenchymal fraction and T2 hyperintense lesion volume (T2LV). Appropriate regression models were used to test the association of alcohol and red wine intake on clinical and MRI outcomes. All analyses were controlled for sex, age, body mass index, disease phenotype (relapsing vs. progressive), the proportion of time on disease modifying therapy during the previous year, smoking exposure, and disease duration. In the models for the MRI outcomes, analyses were also adjusted for acquisition protocol.

RESULTS: 923 patients (74% females, mean age 47 +/- 11 years, mean disease duration 14 +/- 9 years) were included in the analysis. Compared to abstainers, patients drinking more than 4 drinks per week had a higher likelihood of a lower EDSS score (OR, 0.41; p = 0.0001) and lower MSSS (mean difference, - 1.753; p = 0.002) at the time of the questionnaire. Similarly, patients drinking more than 3 glasses of red wine per week had greater odds of a lower EDSS (OR, 0.49; p = 0.0005) and lower MSSS (mean difference, - 0.705; p = 0.0007) compared to nondrinkers. However, a faster increase in T2LV was observed in patients consuming 1-3 glasses of red wine per week compared to nondrinkers.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher total alcohol and red wine intake were associated with a lower cross-sectional level of neurologic disability in MS patients but increased T2LV accumulation. Further studies should explore a potential cause-effect neuroprotective relationship, as well as the underlying biological mechanisms

25 August 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Recent data suggest that excessive alcohol use is increasing among women and older adults. Such trends are concerning, as women are more vulnerable to alcohol-related health consequences, and such health problems may be exacerbated with age. Furthermore, there are sex-specific factors that may influence alcohol consumption among women, including the hormonal changes associated with the menopausal transition and negative affect. The present study sought to investigate transitions in excessive drinking among women across the menopausal transition and included exploration of sex hormones (estradiol; testosterone) and depression.

METHODS: The present study utilized publicly available data from the Study of Women Across the Nation (SWAN) and included 3302 women (42-52 years old at baseline), who completed 10 years of annual assessments. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) criteria were used as guidance when defining excessive drinking within the present dataset. At year 1, 170 women were identified as drinking excessively. Random-effect logistic regressions were used to examine transitions in excessive drinking.

RESULTS: Women identified as excessive drinkers were more likely to transition to non-excessive drinking across all menopausal transition stages (ORs range = 3.71-5.11), while women were more likely to transition from non-excessive to excessive drinking during the early peri- and postmenopausal stages (OR = 1.52 and 1.98, respectively). Higher testosterone levels were associated with a decreased likelihood of transitioning to non-excessive drinking (OR = 0.59). Depression and estradiol levels were not related to transitions in drinking.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates that the menopausal transition marks a period of instability in alcohol use among women. Further research is warranted to understand factors related to transitioning in and out of excessive drinking.

25 August 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol intake is widely assumed to contribute to excess body fatness, especially among young men; however, the evidence is inconsistent. We have addressed this research question by investigating associations between reported alcohol consumption and body composition from large representative national surveys in a high alcohol-consuming country with a high obesity prevalence.

METHODS: The present study comprised a secondary analysis of combined cross-sectional nationally representative Scottish Health Surveys (1995-2010). Reported alcohol-drinking frequency was divided into five groups: from 'nonfrequent drinking' (reference) to daily/'almost every day' among 35 837 representative adults [mean (SD) age: 42.7 (12.7) years (range 18-64 years)]. Quantitative alcohol consumption was categorised into seven groups: from '1-7 to >/=50 10 g units per week'. Regression models against measured body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) were adjusted for age, physical activity, income, smoking, deprivation category and economic status.

RESULTS: Among alcohol-consuming men, heavier drinking (21-28 units per week) was associated with a higher BMI by +1.4 kg m(-2) [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.38-1.43] and higher WC by +3.4 cm (95% CI = 3.2-3.6) than drinking 1-7 units per week. However, those who reported daily drinking frequency were associated with a lower BMI by -2.45 kg m(-2) (95% CI = -2.4 to -2.5) and lower WC by -3.7 cm (95% CI = -3.3 to -4.0) than those who reported less-frequent drinking. Similar associations were found for women. Most of these associations were restricted to subjects aged >30 years. Unexplained variances in BMI and WC are large.

CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative alcohol consumption and frequency of consumption were positively and inversely associated, respectively, with both BMI and WC among alcohol-consuming adults. Surveys are needed that evaluate both the quantity and frequency of consumption. The lowest BMI and WC were associated with a 'Mediterranean' drinking style (i.e. relatively little, but more frequently)

Page 1 of 286


The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer and Privacy Policy.