26 May 2021 In Drinking Patterns

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and alcoholic liver disease, the two most prevalent liver diseases worldwide, share a common pathology but have largely been considered disparate diseases. Liver diseases are widely underestimated, but their prevalence is increasing worldwide.

The Western diet (high-fat, high-sugar) and binge drinking (rapid consumption of alcohol in a short period of time) are two highly prevalent features of standard life in the United States, and both are linked to the development and progression of liver disease. Yet, few studies have been conducted to elucidate their potential interactions. Data shows binge drinking is on the rise in several age groups, and poor dietary trends continue to be prevalent.

This review serves to summarize the sparse findings on the hepatic consequences of the combination of binge drinking and consuming a Western diet, while also drawing conclusions on potential future impacts. The data suggest the potential for a looming liver disease epidemic, indicating that more research on its progression as well as its prevention is needed on this critical topic.

23 November 2020 In Diabetes

BACKGROUND: Evidence is lacking on the effects of binge alcohol consumption on metabolic syndrome in the rural South African population. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between binge drinking and components of metabolic syndrome (MetS) amongst Ellisras rural young adults aged 21 to 31 years who are part of the Ellisras Longitudinal Study.

METHODS: Logistic regression analysis was applied to a total of 624 participants (306 males and 318 females) aged 21 to 31 years who took part in the Ellisras Longitudinal Study (ELS). The model was adjusted for covariates, including smoking, age, and gender. Binge alcohol consumption was assessed using a standardised questionnaire that was validated for the Ellisras rural community. A standardised method of determining the components MetS was used after fasting blood samples were collected from all the participants.

RESULTS: Binge drinking remained significantly associated with low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (OR = 2.64, 95% CI = 1.23-5.65), after being adjusted for smoking, age, and gender. Other MetS components were not predicted. Instead, gender remained significantly associated with all MetS components, except triglycerides, at multivariate analysis. Age retained significance at multivariate analysis with waist girth (OR = 2.13, 95% CI = 1.37-3.34), triglycerides (OR = 2.30, 95% CI = 1.05-5.02), and the MetS composite (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.12-2.41).

CONCLUSION: Binge drinking was significantly associated with lower levels of HDL-C. Future studies should investigate the relationship between alcohol abuse and the components of incident MetS in this population.

25 August 2020 In General Health

OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between alcohol drinking patterns and health-related quality of life (HRQL).

METHODS: Population-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 2008-2010 among 12,715 adult individuals in Spain. HRQL was assessed with the SF-12 questionnaire and alcohol intake with a diet history. The threshold between average moderate drinking and average heavy drinking was >/= 40 g/day of alcohol in men and >/= 24 g/day in women. Binge drinking was defined as the intake of >/= 80 g in men and >/= 60 g in women at any drinking session during the preceding 30 days. Analyses were performed with linear regression and adjusted for the main confounders.

RESULTS: Compared to non-drinkers, all types of average drinkers reported better scores on the SF-12 physical component: beta=1.42 (95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.81) in moderate drinkers and beta=1.86 (1.07 to 2.64) in heavy drinkers. In contrast, average alcohol consumption was not associated with the mental component of the SF-12. The number of binge drinking episodes and most types of beverage preference showed no association with physical or mental HRQL.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol drinkers, including those with heavy drinking, reported better physical HRQL than non-drinkers.

25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

OBJECTIVE: Social capital has been described as having both positive influences as well as negative influences ("the dark side") on health behaviors. We sought to test the association of perceived social capital on the risk of binge drinking among older adults, using a longitudinal design.

METHODS: We used HRS (Health and Retirement Study) data, a nationally representative sample of US adults aged >/=50 years evaluated every two years (from 2006 to 2014). We investigated the relationship between perceived social capital (neighborhood social cohesion and neighborhood physical disorder, positive social support and negative social support) and binge drinking over time, with a multilevel structural equation modelling (MSEM) approach, modelling number of binge-drinking days as hurdle negative binomial. We used MSEM estimating the associations at person level (overall) and within waves.

RESULTS: The sample included 19,140 individuals. At baseline mean age was 66.8 (SD 10.3). Over time, the number of binge drinking days decreased. Negative social support increased the average number of binge drinking days among those who drink, where one unit increase was associated with an increase of 37 % in the expected number of days binge drinking in the same wave. The association of positive social support on the number of binge drinking days was stronger for females (-0.59 (SE = 0.12)), while neighborhood social cohesion was significantly associated with binge drinking in females (-0.05 (SE = 0.01)), but not in males.

CONCLUSIONS: Negative social support favored binge drinking. Positive social support and neighborhood social cohesion are protective factors for binge drinking, especially for women.

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