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posted by on Saturday June 10 2017, @04:39AM   Printer-friendly
from the sorry-ethanol-fueled dept.

Alcohol consumption, even at moderate levels, is associated with increased risk of adverse brain outcomes and steeper decline in cognitive (mental) skills, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

These results support the recent reduction in alcohol guidance in the UK and raise questions about the current limits recommended in the US, say the authors.

[...] Several factors that could have influenced the results (known as confounding) were taken into account, such as age, sex, education, social class, physical and social activity, smoking, stroke risk and medical history.

After adjusting for these confounders, the researchers found that higher alcohol consumption over the 30 year study period was associated with increased risk of hippocampal atrophy -- a form of brain damage that affects memory and spatial navigation.

-- submitted from IRC

Anya Topiwala, Charlotte L Allan, et al. Moderate alcohol consumption as risk factor for adverse brain outcomes and cognitive decline: longitudinal cohort study. BMJ, 2017; j2353 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.j2353


Original Submission

Related Stories

American Society of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Cancer 39 comments

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has released a statement (open, DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2017.76.1155) (DX) discussing the links between alcohol consumption and cancer:

The statement provides evidence of a connection between light drinking and an increased risk of esophageal and breast cancer. Heavy drinkers face a much longer list of risks, including mouth cancer, throat cancer, cancer of the voice box, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer. That's a whole lot of cancers.

"The message is not, 'Don't drink.' It's, 'If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less," said Dr. Noelle LoConte, lead author of the statement. "And if you don't drink, don't start." She says this "subtle" take on the issue is somewhat less cautionary than the warnings about smoking. But the message rings the same.

The doctors behind the statement aimed to draw attention to what they view as a public health problem and advocate for a push towards better education and research.

Also at Medscape and ASCO (shorter press release).

Previously: Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer

Related: Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
Researchers Make Alcohol Out of Thin Air
No Magic Pill to Cure Alcohol Dependence Yet
Early Age of Drinking Leads to Neurocognitive and Neuropsychological Damage


Original Submission

World Health Organization: Alcohol Killed 3 Million People in 2016 32 comments

Excessive drinking killed over 3 million people in 2016

Drinking too much alcohol killed more than 3 million people in 2016, mostly men, the World Health Organization said.

The U.N. health agency also warned that current policy responses are not sufficient to reverse trends predicting an increase in consumption over the next 10 years.

In a new report Friday, the agency said that about 237 million men and 46 million women faced alcohol problems, with the highest prevalence in Europe and the Americas. Europe has the highest global per capita alcohol consumption, even though it has already dropped by 10 percent since 2010.

Around a third of alcohol-related deaths were a result of injuries, including car crashes and self-harm, while about one in five were due to either digestive disorders or cardiovascular diseases. Cancers, infectious diseases, mental disorders and other health conditions were also to blame.

From the Chapter 4 summary:

In 2016, the harmful use of alcohol resulted in some 3 million deaths (5.3% of all deaths) worldwide and 132.6 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) – i.e. 5.1% of all DALYs in that year. Mortality resulting from alcohol consumption is higher than that caused by diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and diabetes. Among men in 2016, an estimated 2.3 million deaths and 106.5 million DALYs were attributable to the consumption of alcohol. Women experienced 0.7 million deaths and 26.1 million DALYs attributable to alcohol consumption.

Related: The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking is Healthy
Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer
Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
American Society of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Cancer
Study: No "Safe" Level of Alcohol Consumption


Original Submission

Study: No "Safe" Level of Alcohol Consumption 89 comments

No alcohol safe to drink, global study confirms

A large new global study published in the Lancet has confirmed previous research which has shown that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. The researchers admit moderate drinking may protect against heart disease but found that the risk of cancer and other diseases outweighs these protections. A study author said its findings were the most significant to date because of the range of factors considered.

The Global Burden of Disease [open, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31310-2] [DX] study looked at levels of alcohol use and its health effects in 195 countries, including the UK, between 1990 and 2016.

Analysing data from 15 to 95-year-olds, the researchers compared people who did not drink at all with those who had one alcoholic drink a day. They found that out of 100,000 non-drinkers, 914 would develop an alcohol-related health problem such as cancer or suffer an injury. But an extra four people would be affected if they drank one alcoholic drink a day. For people who had two alcoholic drinks a day, 63 more developed a condition within a year and for those who consumed five drinks every day, there was an increase of 338 people, who developed a health problem.

One of the study authors, Prof Sonia Saxena, a researcher at Imperial College London and a practising GP, said: "One drink a day does represent a small increased risk, but adjust that to the UK population as a whole and it represents a far bigger number, and most people are not drinking just one drink a day."

Related: The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking is Healthy
Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer
Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
American Society of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Cancer


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @04:53AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @04:53AM (#523390)

    If mouthwash keeps your mouth clean, just imagine how denatured alcohol will keep your gut clean.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by c0lo on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:06AM (2 children)

    by c0lo (156) on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:06AM (#523394) Journal

    Isn't it amazing that such findings seem to always come from the anglo-saxon space? Might have something with puritansm.
    I mean, look, the french people have their daily glass of wine and heaps of other tasty spirits, sie Germans have their Oktoberfest, the Russians have their vodka chilled at low temperature, Greeks have their ouzo and wines, and nobody gives a fuck... that's life, good quality life, share a meal, a drink and a laugh with your friends and be happy

    Yeap, you guessed it: the brits, USians and to a certain extent even the Australians can't sleep at night how much my smoking costs the health system (to date, none at all) and the fact that the Ethanol-fuelled's hypocampus might be smaller that normal and his hands unsteady when he wakes up. Temperance movements, alcohol prohibition and other "drink tanks" trying to make one feel guilty.

    And it's like I should give a fuck about this story ('cause the dose is only 1 social/political story per day... no doubt, for health reasons as well, right?).
    So... OK guys. You wanted me to give a fuck about that? There you have it...

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by butthurt on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:59AM

      by butthurt (6141) on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:59AM (#523405) Journal

      Yeap, you guessed it: the brits, USians and to a certain extent even the Australians can't sleep at night [over?] how much my smoking costs the health system (to date, none at all) [...]

      It's been proposed that warning consumers of the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol can lead to increased sales--and that advertising for those products makes appeals to the desire to harm one's health.

      Death or self-destructive imagery is a frequent aspect of subliminal content.

      -- https://books.google.com/books?id=R-dG_I5Zj8MC&pg=PA124&lpg=PA124 [google.com]

      https://darksidesubliminal.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] (bibliography is at the "Endnotes" link)

      > the dose is only 1 social/political story per day

      This one has a DOI so it doesn't count.

    • (Score: 1) by RedIsNotGreen on Saturday June 10 2017, @07:40PM

      by RedIsNotGreen (2191) on Saturday June 10 2017, @07:40PM (#523565) Homepage Journal

      Ethanol-fuelled's hypocampus might be smaller

      Obviously because it is more efficient.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:28AM (14 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:28AM (#523397)

    From TFA:
    "While those consuming over 30 units a week were at the highest risk compared with abstainers, even those drinking moderately (14-21 units per week) were three times more likely to have hippocampal atrophy compared with abstainers.

    There was no protective effect of light drinking (up to 7 units per week) over abstinence."

    What is a "unit" in this context?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:35AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:35AM (#523400)

      https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/alcoholic-drinks-units/what-is-an-alcohol-unit/ [drinkaware.co.uk]

      One unit is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. Because alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and sizes, units are a way to tell how strong your drink is.

      https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/media/1116/1-alcohol-unit-new-guidelines-v1-2.png [drinkaware.co.uk]

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by c0lo on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:41AM

      by c0lo (156) on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:41AM (#523401) Journal

      What is a "unit" in this context?

      BMJ article [bmj.com] Introduction

      Alcohol use is widespread and increasing across the developed world. It has historically been viewed as harmless in moderation, defined variably from 9-18 units (72-144 g) a week. Recent evidence of associations with risk of cancer has prompted revision of UK government alcohol guidance, though US Federal Dietary guidelines (2015-20) allow up to 24.5 units a week for men. Even light drinking (midpoint <12.5g daily/8 units a week) has been associated with increased risk of oropharnygeal, oesophageal, and breast cancer

      Working out the division leads to 1unit=8g of alcohol.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:45AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:45AM (#523402)
    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:53AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:53AM (#523404)

      SoylentNews should like totally accept donations in alcohol units!!!!

      Fuck SN Fuck SN Fuck SN Fuck SN Fuck SN Fuck SN Fuck SN Fuck SN Fuck SN nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger nigger

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @06:12AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @06:12AM (#523407)

        I shrug to think of what an ethanol-powered SN would look like.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by Azuma Hazuki on Saturday June 10 2017, @06:59AM

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 10 2017, @06:59AM (#523422) Journal

          Pretty much like the post you replied to.

          --
          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Saturday June 10 2017, @01:36PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Saturday June 10 2017, @01:36PM (#523482)

          Pretty much like SN now, thanks to Ethanol-Fueled [soylentnews.org].

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:14PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:14PM (#523519)

        Apparently some SN admin let his toe cross the line:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vB9U2hx6Qg [youtube.com]
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0kfe5tkdD4 [youtube.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @07:03AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @07:03AM (#523423)

      I wondered the same thing, here it is:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_of_alcohol [wikipedia.org]

      What the authors call "moderate alcohol consumption" (14-21 units per week, i.e. 2-3 units per day) means drinking one bottle of beer or one glass of wine every day.
      I personally wouldn’t have called that moderate, so your question was important, I think.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @08:04AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @08:04AM (#523430)

        I think most people who drink can easily exceed that. 12 units in one day? No problem. 30+ units a week.

        The unit needs to be equivalent to a 12 oz 5% beer/cider, if not 16 oz. Although changing the unit doesn't change the health risks, just could make teaching people about the risks easier.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by pTamok on Saturday June 10 2017, @09:14AM (1 child)

        by pTamok (3042) on Saturday June 10 2017, @09:14AM (#523439)

        Moderate drinking is culturally determined. From my perspective, Americans who have just one beer of an evening when they go out for 'a drink' are weird - but I grew up in a culture where going out for 'a drink' meant drinking several pints with companions. Similarly, in other countries, drinking a couple of glasses of red wine with the main meal of the day, every day, was/is quite normal. To some Americans, this is verging on being an alcoholic.

        So 'moderate' is in fact a culturally loaded term. A unit, where I am, is 10 ml of ethanol, or 8g of ethanol. I think what the paper shows is that drinking ethanol affects long-term brain health, and the more you drink the greater the effect. i would be careful not to use a culrutally loaded term like 'moderate' in this context. It makes for good headlines, but is not informative.

        However, the interesting statistic is all-cause mortality. It's all very well that you can see signs of brain dysfunction in drinkers, but if the population of drinkers, in general, lives longer than non-drinkers, then ethanol might be protective in other areas. Concentrating on one disease will skew your perceptions. Now, it turns out that the latest research appears not to be commensurate with the idea that drinking a unit of ethanol a day is better than drinking none in terms of all-cause mortality, but it is not easy research to do as there are lots of confounders.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @09:22PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @09:22PM (#523594)

          Like most the other studies; it conflicts with future studies... not corrupt ones which do get put out there; but legit work shows the complexity involved. For example, what one EATS with the alcohol will impact how it acts on the body. Somebody doing a similar study may have different results by stumbling onto populations with different eating habits. It would totally make sense that drinking by itself is harmful while eating greasy fatty foods may make it harmless... actually it cuts the grease so and in doing so might counter the damage --- if given in the proper ratios. Finding such things is extremely difficult and creating a controlled environment to test this stuff is not possible (human experimentation.)

    • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Saturday June 10 2017, @09:25AM

      by MostCynical (2589) on Saturday June 10 2017, @09:25AM (#523441) Journal

      Not these:
      Unit (Australian Slang): flat, apartment
      http://www.slang-dictionary.org/australian-slang/Unit [slang-dictionary.org]

      And here are some you can buy: http://www.realestate.com.au/buy/property-unit+apartment-in-gold+coast,+qld/list-1 [realestate.com.au]

      --
      "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 1) by i286NiNJA on Monday June 12 2017, @03:59PM

      by i286NiNJA (2768) on Monday June 12 2017, @03:59PM (#524455)

      I wonder how the military decided that 4 units a week or more meant you had a alcohol problem?

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @09:06AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @09:06AM (#523438)

    When I read about the dangers of drinking, that's when I gave up reading.

    • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Saturday June 10 2017, @09:19AM (2 children)

      by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 10 2017, @09:19AM (#523440) Journal

      Memory and spatial navigation, so that's why I can't remember where I put my bottle.

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Saturday June 10 2017, @01:37PM (1 child)

        by Thexalon (636) on Saturday June 10 2017, @01:37PM (#523483)

        Just remember Dean Martin's Law of Drunkenness: You are not drunk if you can lie on the floor without hanging on for dear life.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:18PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:18PM (#523520)

          Sure that wasn't Hunter Thompson? Just seems like something he'd be more likely to say.

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday June 10 2017, @03:06PM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 10 2017, @03:06PM (#523498) Homepage Journal

    I bring home a six-pack. I drink one, maybe two, the rest sit in the fridge for awhile. One of the sons finds them, and scarfs them down. Rinse and repeat every four to eight weeks.

    Long ago, before the sons came on the scene, I could buy a six pack, drink one or three, and the rest would sit in the fridge for two, six, eight weeks, when I would drink another one or three.

    Longer ago, I could drink like a fish, just socializing with shipmates. About two sixpacks were my limit, I never was a "heavy" drinker. But, we did socialize often!

    --
    "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @03:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @03:09PM (#523499)

      HA! My son has some 'Not Your Father's Root Beer' in the cooler. I'll show him!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @05:36PM (#523526)

      I was reading your sig and thought "yup, only a 55+ community would find that story interesting" :D :D

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @07:41PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @07:41PM (#523566)

    Mrs. Fenty: You should read the Bible, Mr. Rumson.
    Ben Rumson: I have read the Bible, Mrs. Fenty.
    Mrs. Fenty: Didn't that discourage you about drinking?
    Ben Rumson: No, but it sure killed my appetite for readin'!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @08:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 10 2017, @08:06PM (#523569)

    I cannot believe how incompetent these people remain. If you say x is related to y (not even talking about cause here), make a plot of x vs y so we can see the relationship. No one should take any paper seriously that doesn't do this.

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