Riviste scientifiche

What about drinking is associated with shorter life in poorer people?

PLoS Medicine - Ma, 02/01/2018 - 23:00

by Jürgen Rehm, Charlotte Probst

In a Perspective, Jürgen Rehm and Charlotte Probst examine the links between socioeconomic status, alcohol use, and cardiovascular mortality and discuss implications for policy.

Life course socioeconomic position, alcohol drinking patterns in midlife, and cardiovascular mortality: Analysis of Norwegian population-based health surveys

PLoS Medicine - Ma, 02/01/2018 - 23:00

by Eirik Degerud, Inger Ariansen, Eivind Ystrom, Sidsel Graff-Iversen, Gudrun Høiseth, Jørg Mørland, George Davey Smith, Øyvind Næss


Socioeconomically disadvantaged groups tend to experience more harm from the same level of exposure to alcohol as advantaged groups. Alcohol has multiple biological effects on the cardiovascular system, both potentially harmful and protective. We investigated whether the diverging relationships between alcohol drinking patterns and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality differed by life course socioeconomic position (SEP).

Methods and findings

From 3 cohorts (the Counties Studies, the Cohort of Norway, and the Age 40 Program, 1987–2003) containing data from population-based cardiovascular health surveys in Norway, we included participants with self-reported information on alcohol consumption frequency (n = 207,394) and binge drinking episodes (≥5 units per occasion, n = 32,616). We also used data from national registries obtained by linkage. Hazard ratio (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for CVD mortality was estimated using Cox models, including alcohol, life course SEP, age, gender, smoking, physical activity, body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure, heart rate, triglycerides, diabetes, history of CVD, and family history of coronary heart disease (CHD). Analyses were performed in the overall sample and stratified by high, middle, and low strata of life course SEP. A total of 8,435 CVD deaths occurred during the mean 17 years of follow-up. Compared to infrequent consumption (p = 0.002; middle versus high), 1.23 (95% CI 0.96, 1.58, p = 0.10; low versus high), and 0.96 (95% CI 0.76, 1.21, p = 0.73; low versus middle). In the group with data on binge drinking, 2,284 deaths (15 years) from CVDs occurred. In comparison to consumers who did not binge during the past year, HRs among frequent bingers (≥1 time per week) were 1.58 (95% CI 1.31, 1.91) overall, and 1.22 (95% CI 0.84, 1.76), 1.71 (95% CI 1.31, 2.23), and 1.85 (95% CI 1.16, 2.94) in the strata, respectively. HRs for effect modification were 1.36 (95% CI 0.87, 2.13, p = 0.18; middle versus high), 1.63 (95% CI 0.92, 2.91, p = 0.10; low versus high), and 1.32 (95% CI 0.79, 2.20, p = 0.29; low versus middle). A limitation of this study was the use of a single measurement to reflect lifetime alcohol consumption.


Moderately frequent consumers had a lower risk of CVD mortality compared with infrequent consumers, and we observed that this association was more pronounced among participants with higher SEP throughout their life course. Frequent binge drinking was associated with a higher risk of CVD mortality, but it was more uncertain whether the risk differed by life course SEP. It is unclear if these findings reflect differential confounding of alcohol consumption with health-protective or damaging exposures, or differing effects of alcohol on health across socioeconomic groups.

Californians can now buy marijuana for recreational use

New Scientist - Ma, 02/01/2018 - 16:47
It already has a booming marijuana industry, and on 1 January, California became the sixth US state to make marijuana legally available for recreational use

2018 preview: Last chance for new physics at the LHC for years

New Scientist - Ma, 02/01/2018 - 13:00
It is almost six years since the LHC spotted the Higgs boson, and the collider will soon shut down for upgrades. Will it find anything else?

Japan launches super-low-orbit satellite to test ion engines

New Scientist - Ma, 02/01/2018 - 11:48
Tsubame will take high-resolution images of Earth and measure oxygen levels and has been designed to orbit at an altitude of just 180 kilometres

2018 preview: Get ready to meet your newest long-lost ancestor

New Scientist - Lu, 01/01/2018 - 23:00
Fossils from our ancient relatives have been turning up at an increasing rate, and rumours are rife that the next new species is about to drop

Human or robot? Google’s speech generator makes it hard to tell

New Scientist - Lu, 01/01/2018 - 21:00
Instead of stitching together short human sound bites to create words and sentences, Google’s latest system generates vocals from the text alone

How to make even your toughest new year’s resolutions stick

New Scientist - Lu, 01/01/2018 - 19:00
Our annual vows to ditch bad habits rarely manage to change behaviour, but why? Frank Swain examines how to make a new you this year

Our liver vacation: Is a dry January really worth it?

New Scientist - Lu, 01/01/2018 - 14:00
Less liver fat, cholesterol and weight – just some of the benefits that New Scientist staff enjoyed in a pioneering study into a month's alcohol abstinence

2018 preview: Bitcoin and ICO bubbles are set to burst

New Scientist - Lu, 01/01/2018 - 12:00
Even more money is set to pour into cryptocurrency-backed initial coin offerings, but will the industry survive or will the whole thing collapse?

The universe may be full of ex-moons flung from their home worlds

New Scientist - Lu, 01/01/2018 - 10:00
Moons in other stellar systems may be hurled away from their planets up to 90 per cent of the time, leaving up to 100 former moons per star in the Milky Way

2018 preview: Epic mission to Mercury will unravel its mysteries

New Scientist - Sa, 30/12/2017 - 16:00
In October, a probe called BepiColombo will begin a seven-year voyage to Mercury with the aim of answering questions raised by previous visits to the scorched world

3D-printed implant mends broken legs by turning into real bone

New Scientist - Ve, 29/12/2017 - 19:00
Metal plates and pins for broken bones could be a thing of the past, with porous 3D implants as strong as the real thing used instead

2018 preview: Thousands of mystery lifeforms to be revealed

New Scientist - Ve, 29/12/2017 - 17:00
Bacteria and other microbes are all around us but we only know about 1 per cent of them. That is set to change, thanks to a technique called metagenomics

Video gaming disorder to be officially recognised for first time

New Scientist - Ve, 29/12/2017 - 11:41
Obsessively playing video games can be so detrimental that the World Health Organization is going to recognise it as a mental health condition

Your body fat may be protecting you against infections

New Scientist - Ve, 29/12/2017 - 11:32
Fat isn’t all bad – it stores powerful immune cells, and seems to boost their ability to defend the body from dangerous infections

Space-time and gravity might be born from the quantum world

New Scientist - Gi, 28/12/2017 - 22:00
To reconcile quantum mechanics and gravity, a new theory flips the usual script. Space-time and gravity may emerge from quantum effects, not the other way round

Exclusive: Most premature baby ever to survive born at 22 weeks

New Scientist - Gi, 28/12/2017 - 21:00
A baby born more than four months before her due date has been revealed as the youngest premature baby ever to survive. The girl is now a healthy 5-year-old

Earth was smashed by a rock the size of Mars to make the moon

New Scientist - Gi, 28/12/2017 - 20:00
4.5 billion years ago, a rock called Theia crashed into Earth and formed the moon. Now we know that it was probably only about a tenth the mass of our planet

Genital parasite crabs are struggling to find sex partners

New Scientist - Gi, 28/12/2017 - 19:00
Parasitic crustaceans called castrator pea crabs spend most of their lives hiding in the sex organs of limpets, and that makes it difficult to find a mate
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