To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Alcohol consumption and diabetes risk in the Diabetes Prevention Program
Am J Clin Nutr 90: 595-601, 200

Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes in the general population, but little is known about the effects in individuals at high risk of diabetes.

Despite overall low rates of alcohol consumption, there was a reduced risk of incident diabetes in those who reported modest daily alcohol intake and were assigned to metformin or lifestyle modification. Moderate daily alcohol intake is associated with lower insulin secretion—an effect that warrants further investigation.

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Gender differences in sex-related alcohol expectancies in young adults from a peri-urban area in Lima, Peru
Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.6, pp. 499-505

To estimate the effect of sex-related alcohol expectancies (SRAE) on hazardous drinking prevalence and examine gender differences in reporting SRAE.

In a shantytown in Lima, SRAE is associated with hazardous drinking among men, but not among women, and reporting of SRAE differs by gender.

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Alcohol consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in older lifelong wine drinkers: The Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging
Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases Article in Press 19 August 2009

A protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption on the cardiovascular system has consistently been reported, but limited evidence has been produced on the association of alcohol with metabolic factors in the elderly.

The aim of this study was to investigate the association between different levels of current alcohol consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in a representative sample of elderly Italian men, mainly wine drinkers.-

Our results indicated in elderly moderate wine drinkers a noticeably safe metabolic, inflammatory and glycemic profile that might balance higher blood pressure, leading to a net benefit. These findings however need to be placed in relation to the known adverse social and health effects of heavy drinking.

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Predictors of alcohol use among people experiencing chronic pain
Psychology, Health & Medicine, Volume 14, Issue 4 August 2009 , pages 487 - 501

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between demographic, mood, physical and coping factors, and alcohol use in people experiencing chronic pain. It was hypothesised that a combined model would be more effective in explaining the variance in alcohol use than any single block of predictors individually.

Being male, a greater affective pain experience and not using relaxation predicted alcohol use and alcohol problems. Only the level of affective pain experience predicted reasons for drinking.

The results partially supported the hypothesis that a combination of demographic, pain and coping variables could best account for the variance in alcohol use in chronic pain patients. However, mood factors did not predict alcohol use. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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Race/Ethnicity of Female Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Aged 25 to 34
The TEDS Report July 23, 2009

In 2007, American Indian/Alaska Native female admissions aged 25 to 34 were more likely than other female admissions the same age to report primary alcohol abuse.

Among female admissions aged 25 to 34, Black admissions were more likely to report primary marijuana abuse and primary cocaine abuse, and Asian/Pacific Islander admissions were more likely to report primary methamphetamine abuse, than other female admissions.

Black and Hispanic female admissions aged 25 to 34 were more likely than other female admissions the same age to have not completed a high school education.

Regardless of race/ethnicity, about a quarter or less of female admissions aged 25 to 34 were employed.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gender and alcohol consumption: patterns from the multinational GENACIS project
Addiction Volume 104 Issue 9, Pages 1487 - 1500

To evaluate multinational patterns of gender- and age-specific alcohol consumption.

As expected, men still exceed women in drinking and high-volume drinking, although gender ratios vary. Better explanations are needed for why more women than men quit drinking, and why aging does not consistently reduce drinking and heavy drinking outside Europe and English-speaking countries.

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Timing of first alcohol use and alcohol dependence: evidence of common genetic influences
Addiction Volume 104 Issue 9, Pages 1512 - 1518

To estimate the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences on timing of first alcohol use and alcohol dependence (AD) and to quantify the overlap in these influences across the two alcohol-related outcomes.

Findings highlight the substantial role of genetics in the development of AD and the early manifestation of that genetic risk in the timing of alcohol use initiation which, unlike AD, is also influenced to a modest degree by shared environmental factors. The considerable overlap in heritable influences—and the virtual absence of overlap in individual-specific environmental influences—on initiation of alcohol use and AD indicates that the association between age at first drink and AD is attributable in large part to common genetic sources of variance.

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Association between Adolescent Viewership and Alcohol Advertising on Cable Television
AJPH First Look, published online ahead of print Aug 20, 2009

We examined whether alcohol advertising on cable television is associated with adolescent viewership.

Ad placements for beer, spirits, and alcopops increased as adolescent viewership rose from 0% to 30%, especially for female viewers. Alcohol advertising practices should be modified to limit exposure of underage viewers.

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Alcohol Use Among High School Students --- Georgia, 2007
MMWR August 21, 2009 / 58(32);885-890

Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to an average of approximately 4,700 deaths among underage youths in the United States each year (e.g., from homicides, motor-vehicle crashes, and suicides) and an average of 60 years of life lost per death (1). Although drinking by underaged persons is illegal in every state, youths aged 12--20 years drink nearly 20% of all the alcohol consumed in the United States (2). To characterize alcohol consumption by high school students in Georgia, the Georgia Division of Public Health analyzed data from the 2007 Georgia Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).

Among students who reported current alcohol use, 44% reported that the usual type of alcohol they consumed was liquor (e.g., bourbon, rum, scotch, vodka, or whiskey), 58% reported that their usual location of alcohol consumption was at another person's home, and 37% reported that their usual source of alcohol was someone giving it to them.

These results underscore the need for further research in Georgia and other states on underage drinking behavior, motives, and access to alcohol, which could facilitate development of additional effective intervention strategies. Evidence-based interventions should be sustained and strengthened; these include enforcing the age 21 minimum legal drinking age; increasing alcohol excise taxes; limiting alcohol outlet density; and maintaining existing limits on the days when alcohol can be sold.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Severity of Baseline Alcohol Use as a Moderator of Brief Interventions in the Emergency Department
Alcohol and Alcoholism Advance Access published online on August 19, 2009

This study examines whether the severity of baseline alcohol consumption/consequences moderates the effect of an alcohol brief intervention (BI) in the emergency department (ED).

ED patients with higher alcohol consumption benefit from BI. In some cases, the BI's effects may be enhanced for patients who are heavier drinkers, perhaps due to a greater opportunity to develop a discrepancy between current behavior and future goals.

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Effect of beer drinking on ultrasound bone mass in women
Nutrition Published Online 15 June 2009

To study the effect of beer consumption on bone mass in a group of healthy women, by using phalangeal bone ultrasound to evaluate the amplitude-dependent speed of sound.

The greater bone density found in women beer drinkers might be a result of the phytoestrogen content of this alcoholic drink; this requires further investigation.

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Press Release - Don’t lose your snooze - cut back on the booze
August 19, 2009

Drinkers across England are losing valuable sleep and disrupting vital brain functions without knowing that their boozing is the cause, new research for the Government’s Know Your Limits campaign has today revealed.

More than half (58%) of nearly 2,000 drinkers surveyed by YouGov did not realise that drinking above the recommended daily limits can cause sleep problems, with more men (63%) than women (53%) unaware of the link.

Almost half (45%) of those surveyed admit to experiencing tiredness the day after drinking over the recommended daily limits, but it seems many people don’t realise this could be due to alcohol interfering with their normal, restful sleep. . . . . .

Effectiveness of Mandatory Alcohol Testing Programs in Reducing Alcohol Involvement in Fatal Motor Carrier Crashes
American Journal of Epidemiology Advance Access published online on August 19, 2009

Mandatory alcohol testing programs for motor carrier drivers were implemented in the United States in 1995 and have not been adequately evaluated. Using data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System during 1982–2006, the authors assessed the effectiveness of mandatory alcohol testing programs in reducing alcohol involvement in fatal motor carrier crashes.

Results from this study indicate that mandatory alcohol testing programs may have contributed to a significant reduction in alcohol involvement in fatal motor carrier crashes.

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Prospective relations between growth in drinking and familial stressors across adolescence.
Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Vol 118(3), Aug 2009, 610-622.

Although there is much empirical support for the relation between stress and alcohol consumption in adolescence, it is unclear whether exposure to stressors is associated with overall trajectories or temporary elevations in drinking. Moreover, little research has explored whether the stress–alcohol use association in adolescence may be explained by shared risk factors that produce both individual differences in stress exposure and elevated risk for alcohol use.

The present study tested these hypotheses within the context of a state-trait model of family stressors in a prospectively studied sample of children at high risk for alcoholism: children of alcoholic parents and matched controls (n = 451).

These findings imply that trait familial stressors mark adolescents at risk for alcohol use and also impact adolescent alcohol use within a short time frame (i.e., over 1 year vs. over many years) when they occur above and beyond the adolescent’s “usual load” of stressors

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Bipolar spectrum–substance use co-occurrence: Behavioral approach system (BAS) sensitivity and impulsiveness as shared personality vulnerabilities.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol 97(3), Sep 2009, 549-565.

Bipolar disorders and substance use disorders (SUDs) show high co-occurrence. One explanation for this co-occurrence may be common personality vulnerabilities involved in both. The authors tested whether high behavioral approach system (BAS) sensitivity and impulsiveness are shared personality vulnerabilities in bipolar spectrum disorders and substance use problems and their co-occurrence in a longitudinal study of 132 individuals on the bipolar spectrum and 153 control participants.

In line with hypotheses, higher BAS sensitivity and impulsiveness predicted bipolar status and increased substance use problems prospectively. BAS total, BAS Fun Seeking, and impulsiveness mediated the association between bipolar spectrum status and prospective substance use problems, with impulsiveness as the most important mediator.

High BAS sensitivity and impulsiveness may represent shared personality vulnerabilities for both disorders and may partially account for their co-occurrence.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Perceived Discrimination and Substance Use among Latino Adolescents
Am J Health Behav. 2009;33(6):718-727

To examine perceived discrimination and substance use among Latino high school students.

Latino adolescents who have higher perceptions of discrimination are at risk for substance use. Interventions to help Latino adolescents cope with feelings of discrimination may be a useful addition tsubstance use prevention programs.

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Collins Sets Five Themes for NIH
August 17, 2009

The new director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) laid out his priorities today, spending his 1st day on the job speaking to his staff and reporters. Physician-geneticist Francis Collins said he plans to emphasize five "themes," including health care reform and translating research into medicine. Collins also sought to allay perhaps the biggest concerns about his nomination last month by President Barack Obama, saying that he will protect investigator-initiated science and that his religious interests will not influence how he runs the agency.
. . . . .
As for management issues, Collins has chosen to retain Raynard Kington as his principal deputy director. Kington served in that position until becoming acting NIH director after Elias Zerhouni resigned last fall. Collins expects to hold off on finding a permanent director for the alcoholism institute because of an ongoing discussion about whether it should merge with NIH's drug addiction institute. Asked about NIH's intramural program, he is "resistant to the idea that [the program] is in need of some sort of dramatic redo" but is pondering whether to create a pool of intramural money that, like NIH's Common Fund, could be used to fund crosscutting research quickly.

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The Financing COE website features information about health care financing with a special focus on mental health and substance abuse (M/SU). Using blog-style posts, the SAMHSA Financing COE website offers original COE content as well as news, reports, briefs, scholarly article citations, legislation, and data sets regarding the financing of M/SU treatment and prevention.

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Neural Circuitry Associated with Risk for Alcohol Use Disorders
Neuropsychology Review Online First 15 August 2009

The core features of risk for alcohol use disorders (AUD), including behavioral disinhibition, affective dysregulation, and executive dysfunction, map onto distinct neural circuits that have been found to be abnormal in the offspring of alcohol dependent individuals.

Components of the cerebellothalamocortical system and the extended limbic network may provide the underpinnings for the behavioral and emotional dysfunction observed in individuals at heightened risk for AUD. In addition, abnormalities in these structures appear to be altered in individuals with the predisposition for other psychiatric conditions that may share a similar genetic diathesis.

This review proposes several neurobehavioral mechanisms of genetic vulnerability that may account for phenotypic characteristics in individuals at risk for AUD.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

A non-synonymous variant in ADH1B is strongly associated with prenatal alcohol use in a European sample of pregnant women
Human Molecular Genetics Advance Access published online on August 17, 2009

Pregnant women are advised to abstain from alcohol despite insufficient evidence on the fetal consequences of moderate prenatal alcohol use. Mendelian randomization could help distinguish causal effects from artifacts due to residual confounding and measurement errors, however polymorphisms reliably associated with alcohol phenotypes are needed. We aimed to test whether alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) gene variants were associated with alcohol use before and during pregnancy.

We confirmed the established association of rs1229984 with reduced alcohol consumption over the life-course, contributing new evidence of an effect before and during pregnancy.

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The Epidemiology of At-Risk and Binge Drinking Among Middle-Aged and Elderly Community Adults: National Survey on Drug Use and Health
Am J Psychiatry Published August 17, 2009

The purpose of this article was to estimate the prevalence, distribution, and correlates of at-risk alcohol use (especially binge drinking) among middle-aged and elderly persons in the United States and to compare at-risk alcohol use between women and men.

At-risk and binge drinking are frequently reported by middle-aged and elderly adults nationwide and are therefore of public health concern. Clinicians working with middle-aged and older adults should screen for binge drinking and coexisting use of other substances.

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Alcohol Biomarkers in Patients Admitted for Trauma
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Early View 23 July 2009

To assess the value of blood alcohol levels (BAL) and carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) in trauma patients.

The study provides additional empirical evidence that supports the use of BAL in all patients admitted for trauma. The usefulness of CDT in trauma patients remains unclear and will require larger samples in more critically ill patients,

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Neurotoxic and Cardiotoxic Effects of Cocaine and Ethanol

Concurrent abuse of alcohol and cocaine results in the formation of cocaethylene, a powerful cocaine metabolite. Cocaethylene potentiates the direct cardiotoxic and indirect neurotoxic effects of cocaine or alcohol alone.

The combination of ethanol and cocaine has been associated with a significant increase in the incidence of neurological and cardiac emergencies including cerebral infarction, intracranial hemorrhage, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, and cardiac arrhythmias. The alteration of cocaine pharmacokinetics and the formation of cocaethylene have been implicated, at least partially, in the increased toxicity of this drug combination.

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Scottish Youth Commission launch public alcohol resource centre

The Scottish Youth Commission on Alcohol have launched an alcohol resource website that encourages the public to submit information, articles and videos. . . . . .

Attitudes towards 12-step groups and referral practices in a 12-step naive treatment culture; a survey of addiction professionals in Norway
BMC Health Services Research 2009, 9:147

Addressing substance use disorders effectively requires a long-term approach. Substance abuse treatment is typically of short duration; referring patients to Twelve Step based self-help groups (TSGs) - e.g. Narcotics Anonymous, represents a promising complementary recovery resource. Clinicians' attitudes and referral practices towards the TSGs have mainly been studied in countries with high integration of the 12-step philosophy in their substance abuse services and where the TSGs are widely available, such as the US. In Norway, there are currently 294 weekly TSG meetings (6 per 100,000 inhabitants). This study describes clinicians' attitudes and referral practices to TSGs in Norway where health authorities seek to promote self-help participation, but where the treatment culture is unfamiliar with 12-step fellowships.

Low referral rates to TSGs point to the need for education and training to raise the awareness and knowledge about it among addiction professionals unfamiliar with these 12-step fellowships. Training should focus on the usefulness of these groups for all types of treatment models regardless of therapeutic orientation. Increased knowledge is expected to lead to higher referral rates, which in turn would maximize the likelihood of positive long-term patient outcomes.

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