The Risks Associated With Alcohol Use and Alcoholism

University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Alcohol research & health: the journal of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Impact Factor: 0.58). 01/2011; 34(2):135-43.
Source: PubMed


Alcohol consumption, particularly heavier drinking, is an important risk factor for many health problems and, thus, is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. In fact, alcohol is a necessary underlying cause for more than 30 conditions and a contributing factor to many more. The most common disease categories that are entirely or partly caused by alcohol consumption include infectious diseases, cancer, diabetes, neuropsychiatric diseases (including alcohol use disorders), cardiovascular disease, liver and pancreas disease, and unintentional and intentional injury. Knowledge of these disease risks has helped in the development of low-risk drinking guidelines. In addition to these disease risks that affect the drinker, alcohol consumption also can affect the health of others and cause social harm both to the drinker and to others, adding to the overall cost associated with alcohol consumption. These findings underscore the need to develop effective prevention efforts to reduce the pain and suffering, and the associated costs, resulting from excessive alcohol use.

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    • "Regular cigarette smokers are also at greater risk of coronary heart disease (Huxley & Woodward, 2011), multiple cancers (Liang, Chen, & Giovannucci, 2009; Lynch et al., 2009), and several mental disorders (Taylor et al., 2014). Excessive alcohol consumption has been connected to over 30 chronic conditions including liver and pancreatic disease, diabetes, and neuropsychiatric disorders (Rehm, 2011). A healthy diet on the other hand (e.g., high fruit and vegetable intake) is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes (Cooper et al., 2012), ischaemic heart disease (Crowe et al., 2011), some cancers (Aune et al., 2011; Boffetta et al., 2010), and cognitive decline (Loef & Walach, 2012; Lourida et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: This investigation explored the contribution of a healthy lifestyle to personality trait stability and change during adulthood. A nationally representative sample of 11,133 Australian adults completed self-report measures of health-related behaviour and personality traits at baseline (2010) and again four years later (2014). Results showed that physical activity and alcohol intake, and to a lesser extent diet and cigarette smoking, were important for mean-level change and intra-individual stability of personality for all trait dimensions. Moreover, positive health behaviours were associated with less of a decrease in extraversion and more of an increase in openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness over four years. These findings suggest that healthy living might help to facilitate desirable personality trait stability and change during adulthood.
    Journal of Research in Personality 11/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jrp.2015.10.005 · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    • "Alcohol use is one of the greatest risk factors for disease and disability (Rehm, 2011; Nutt et al., 2010; Rehm et al., 2009), and alcohol dependence (AD) seems to account for the majority of this burden (Rehm et al., 2012; Rehm et al., 2013). The risk of mortality has been shown to increase as alcohol consumption increases, both for lifetime risk and absolute annual risk, with absolute annual risk almost doubling as alcohol consumption increases from 10 g/day to 100 g/day (Rehm et al., 2011). In addition to the clinical burden of AD experienced by individuals (François et al., 2014), AD has wider societal consequences, including substantial direct and indirect economic costs (Rehm et al., 2012; Laramée et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol dependence (AD) carries a high mortality burden, which may be mitigated by reduced alcohol consumption. We conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis investigating risk of all-cause mortality in alcohol-dependent subjects.
    09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.08.040
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    • "These cardio-protective effects disappear when light to moderate drinking is mixed with irregular heavy drinking occasions [44] [49]. These epidemiological data are consistent with the findings of biological studies that -based on alcohol's effects on blood lipids and blood clotting -also predict beneficial effects of regular light to moderate drinking but detrimental effects of irregular heavy drinking [43] [44]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction. Alcohol dependence (AD) is associated with an increase of physical comorbidity but the effects of these diseases on hospital-based mortality are unclear. Objectives and aims. To investigate whether the burden of physical comorbidity and its relevance on general hospital-based mortality differs between individuals with and without alcohol-dependence (AD) during a 12.5 year observation period in general hospital admissions. Methods. All comorbidities with a prevalence ≥ 1% were compared between 23,371 individuals with AD and those of 233,710 randomly selected and group-matched hospital controls of the same age and gender. Comorbidities that were risk factors for later hospital-based mortality were identified using multivariate forward logistic regression analysis. Results. Hospital-based mortality rates were 20.4 % in individuals with AD and 8.4% in controls. Individuals with AD compared to controls had a substantial excess comorbidity of physical diseases. In the AD sample 32 physical diseases contributed to the prediction of hospital-based mortality in univariate analyses and 23 physical diseases were risk factors for hospital-based mortality in multivariate analyses. All mortality risk factors had either an equal or a lower impact on hospital-based mortality in individuals with AD compared to controls. Conclusions. Physical multimorbidity is the major reason for the excess general hospital-based mortality in individuals with AD compared to controls.
    European Psychiatry 06/2015; DOI:10.1016/S0924-9338(15)30830-0 · 3.44 Impact Factor
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