Article

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

ABSTRACT

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.
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    • "Overmatig alcoholgebruik is gerelateerd aan vele gezondheidsklachten en andere sociale en economische consequenties (Rehm 2011; World Health Organisation 2015). Online programma's kunnen mensen helpen die gemotiveerd zijn om minder te gaan drinken (Elliot et al. 2008; Riper et al. 2011; Riper et al. 2014; Schulz et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: This article presents the results of a randomised controlled trial that tests whether two behavioural change strategies provided an additional effect for an existing online intervention (www. drinktest. nl) among Dutch excessive drinking adults: drinker image alteration and cue reminders. Drinktest.nl is a tailored intervention that provides personal feedback to motivate and advise people in reducing their alcohol consumption. The four conditions were: original Drinktest.nl, Drinktest.nl plus image alteration, Drinktest.nl plus cue reminder, and Drinktest.nl plus cue reminder and image alteration. Both strategies were found to effectively but independently help reduce alcohol consumption over time.
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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: Background 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 the risk of all-cause mortality in alcohol-dependent subjects. Methods MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process, Embase and PsycINFO were searched from database conception through 26th June 2014. Eligible studies reported all-cause mortality in both alcohol-dependent subjects and a comparator population of interest. Two individuals independently reviewed studies. Of 4540 records identified, 39 observational studies were included in meta-analyses. Findings We identified a significant increase in mortality for alcohol-dependent subjects compared with the general population (27 studies; relative risk [RR] = 3.45; 95% CI [2.96, 4.02]; p < 0.0001). The mortality increase was also significant compared to subjects qualifying for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse or subjects without alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Alcohol-dependent subjects continuing to drink heavily had significantly greater mortality than alcohol-dependent subjects who reduced alcohol intake, even if abstainers were excluded (p < 0.05). Interpretation AD was found to significantly increase an individual's risk of all-cause mortality. While abstinence in alcohol-dependent subjects led to greater mortality reduction than non-abstinence, this study suggests that alcohol-dependent subjects can significantly reduce their mortality risk by reducing alcohol consumption.
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