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, December 31, 2011

A novel SNP in COMT is associated with alcohol dependence but not opiate or nicotine dependence: a case control study

It is well established that COMT is a strong candidate gene for substance use disorder and schizophrenia. Recently we identified two SNPs in COMT (rs4680 and rs165774) that are associated with schizophrenia in an Australian cohort. Individuals with schizophrenia were more than twice as likely to carry the GG genotype compared to the AA genotype for both the rs165774 and rs4680 SNPs. Association of both rs4680 and rs165774 with substance dependence, a common comorbidity of schizophrenia has not been investigated.

To determine whether COMT is important in substance dependence, rs165774 and rs4680 were genotyped and haplotyped in patients with nicotine, alcohol and opiate dependence.

The rs165774 SNP was associated with alcohol dependence. However, it was not associated with nicotine or opiate dependence. Individuals with alcohol dependence were more than twice as likely to carry the GG or AG genotypes compared to the AA genotype, indicating a dominant mode of inheritance. The rs4680 SNP showed a weak association with alcohol dependence at the allele level that did not reach significance at the genotype level but it was not associated with nicotine or opiate dependence. Analysis of rs165774/rs4680 haplotypes also revealed association with alcohol dependence with the G/G haplotype being almost 1.5 times more common in alcohol-dependent cases.

Our study provides further support for the importance of the COMT in alcohol dependence in addition to schizophrenia. It is possible that the rs165774 SNP, in combination with rs4680, results in a common molecular variant of COMT that contributes to schizophrenia and alcohol dependence susceptibility. This is potentially important for future studies of comorbidity. As our participant numbers are limited our observations should be viewed with caution until they are independently replicated.

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Friday, December 30, 2011


The aim of this study was to investigate the potential capability of an alcalase-hydrolyzed corn protein and fractions with different molecular mass (Mm) to facilitate alcohol metabolism by activating hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH).

Results showed that corn peptide (CP) fraction with Mm fewer than 1,000 Da (CP < 1,000) exhibited the highest activity to activate ADH in vitro.

The fraction administration (200 mg/kg body weight) with Mm fewer than 5,000 Da (CP < 5,000) demonstrated maximum ability to decrease blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in mice. There was a 45.1% reduction in BAC compared with that of the control group.

Moreover, there was a strong linear relationship between BAC elimination rate and hepatic ADH activation rate (r = 0.9961).

CP's potent capability to facilitate alcohol metabolism could be mainly correlated with the activation of hepatic ADH by hydrophobic CP with low Mm. CP's ·OH scavenging activity may also have synergistic contribution to the oxidative stress release.

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Genome-Wide Association Study in Bipolar Patients Stratified by Co-Morbidity

Bipolar disorder is a severe psychiatric disorder with high heritability. Co-morbid conditions are common and might define latent subgroups of patients that are more homogeneous with respect to genetic risk factors.

In the Caucasian GAIN bipolar disorder sample of 1000 cases and 1034 controls, we tested the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms with patient subgroups defined by co-morbidity.

Bipolar disorder with psychosis and/or substance abuse in the absence of alcohol dependence was associated with the rare variant rs1039002 in the vicinity of the gene phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10A) on chromosome 6q27 (p = 1.7×10−8). PDE10A has been implicated in the pathophysiology of psychosis. Antagonists to the encoded protein are currently in clinical testing. Another rare variant, rs12563333 (p = 5.9×10−8) on chromosome 1q41 close to the MAP/microtubule affinity-regulating kinase 1 (MARK1) gene, approached the genome-wide level of significance in this subgroup. Homozygotes for the minor allele were present in cases and absent in controls. Bipolar disorder with alcohol dependence and other co-morbidities was associated with SNP rs2727943 (p = 3.3×10−8) on chromosome 3p26.3 located between the genes contactin-4 precursor (BIG-2) and contactin 6 (CNTN6). All three associations were found under the recessive genetic model. Bipolar disorder with low probability of co-morbid conditions did not show significant associations.

Conceptualizing bipolar disorder as a heterogeneous disorder with regard to co-morbid conditions might facilitate the identification of genetic risk alleles. Rare variants might contribute to the susceptibility to bipolar disorder.

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Neuroticism and extraversion personality traits, health behaviours, and subjective well-being: the Fukuoka Study (Japan)

We evaluated personality dimensions captured by an abbreviated 8-item questionnaire and examined associations of the personality traits with health behaviours and subjective well-being (SWB) measures.

The subjects were 11,554 participants in the Kyushu University Fukuoka Cohort Study who completed a self-administered questionnaire inquiring health behaviours, morbidity, personality, and SWB. Personality was assessed by using a questionnaire appeared to capture neuroticism and extraversion traits, and SWB-related variables were assessed with 3 single-item questions.

Neuroticism was negatively and extraversion was positively associated with BMI. Extraversion, but not neuroticism, was positively associated with smoking and alcohol drinking. After multivariate adjustment, neuroticism was strongly associated with each of 3 SWB measures. The multivariate-adjusted odds ratios for the highest versus lowest quintile of neuroticism were 6.09 (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.05–7.33) for perceived stress; 0.21 (95% CI, 0.18–0.25) for good health condition; and 0.26 (95% CI, 0.22–0.31) for life satisfaction. Extraversion showed no clear association with the SWB measures.

The neuroticism and extraversion scales were associated with health behaviours and BMI differently. The neuroticism scale, but not the extraversion scale, was strongly associated with higher perception of stress, poorer perceived health, and lower satisfaction with life in a Japanese population.

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Ego depletion increases ad-lib alcohol consumption: Investigating cognitive mediators and moderators.

When self-control resources are depleted (“ego depletion”), alcohol-seeking behavior becomes closely associated with automatic alcohol-related processing biases (e.g., Ostafin, Marlatt, & Greenwald, 2008).

The current study aimed to replicate and extend these findings, and also to investigate whether the effects of ego depletion on drinking behavior would be mediated by temporary impairments in executive function or increases in impulsivity.

Eighty heavy social drinkers (46 female) initially completed measures of automatic approach tendencies (stimulus response compatibility [SRC] task) and attentional bias (visual probe task) elicited by alcohol-related cues. Participants were then exposed to either an ego depletion manipulation or a control manipulation, before completing a bogus taste test in order to assess ad-lib alcohol consumption. In a subsequent testing session, we examined effects of the ego depletion manipulation (vs. control manipulation) on 3 aspects of executive function (inhibitory control, phonemic fluency, and delay discounting).

Results indicated that the ego depletion manipulation increased ad-lib drinking, relative to the control manipulation. Automatic approach tendencies, but not attentional bias, predicted ad-lib drinking, although this effect was not moderated by ego depletion.

Ego depletion had inconsistent effects on measures of executive function and impulsivity, and none of these measures mediated the effect of ego depletion on ad-lib drinking. However, the effect of ego depletion on ad-lib drinking was mediated by self-reported effort in suppressing emotion and thoughts during the manipulation.

Implications for the effects of self-control strength on drinking behavior, and cognitive mediators of these effects, are discussed.

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The separate and combined effects of alcohol and nicotine on anticipatory anxiety: A multidimensional analysis

Individuals who smoke cigarettes are significantly more likely to smoke more when they drink alcohol. Indeed, smoking and drinking appear strongly linked, at both between- and within-person levels of analyses. Anecdotal evidence further suggests that alcohol consumption in combination with smoking cigarettes reduces anxiety, yet the mechanisms by which this may occur are not well understood.

The current study assessed the separate and combined effects of alcohol and nicotine on self-reported and psychophysiological (startle eyeblink magnitude) indices of anxiety.

Results indicated that alcohol provided anxiolytic benefits alone and in combination with nicotine, as evidenced by significant reductions in startle eyeblink magnitude.

According to self-reported anxiety, alcohol and nicotine exerted a conjoint effect on diminishing increases in anxiety subsequent to a speech stressor.

These data highlight the importance of studying both the separate and combined effects of these two widely used substances, as well as the advantages of employing a multimodal assessment of emotional response.

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The stress-response dampening hypothesis: How self-esteem and stress act as mechanisms between negative parental bonds and alcohol-related problems in

The stress dampening model (Marlatt, 1987; Sayette, 1993; Sher, 1987) suggests certain individuals may use alcohol to escape from their negative life experiences.

Pathological reasons for drinking (e.g. using alcohol as a means to cope) reflect the degree to which individuals are motivated to use alcohol in order to dampen or alleviate the stress they are experiencing (Johnson, Schwitters, Wilson, Nagoshi, & McClearn, 1985).

Direct and mediational links among parental bonds (rejection, care, overprotection, autonomy, and neglect), self-esteem, stress, pathological reasons for drinking, and alcohol-related problems were explored. A Structural Equation Model with (405 students; 164 women, 241 men) college students was examined.

Three path mediational analyses revealed several mediated pathways.

Greater feelings of perceived father/mother neglectfulness (i.e. offspring feeling parents do not show up for them) were indirectly linked to more alcohol-related problems (e.g. indicative of alcohol use or dependence in emerging adulthood) through increased stress and pathological reasons for drinking.

Furthermore, higher levels of father rejection (i.e. perception of feeling unwanted) were indirectly linked to more pathological reasons for drinking through low self-esteem and increased stress.

However, greater feelings of mother care (affectionate and attentive) were indirectly linked to fewer pathological reasons for drinking through higher self-esteem and lower levels of stress.

Moreover, high self-esteem was found to be indirectly linked to fewer alcohol-related problems through decreased stress and pathological reasons for drinking.

These findings suggest several specific pathways for using alcohol to self-medicate (i.e. consume alcohol for a specific purpose) or dampen feelings of stress.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Impaired control over alcohol use: An under-addressed risk factor for problem drinking in young adults?

Impaired control over alcohol use may be defined as “a breakdown of an intention to limit consumption in a particular situation” (Heather, Tebbutt, Mattick, & Zamir, 1993, p. 701) and has long been considered an important feature of alcohol dependence.

Evidence suggests impaired control is highly relevant to young adult problem drinking. In the natural history of problem drinking, impaired control tends to develop early and may predict alcohol-related problems prospectively in undergraduates. Impaired control over alcohol use may be a facet of generalized behavioral undercontrol specifically related to drinking.

In particular, impaired control is theoretically and empirically related to impulsivity. The question of whether impaired control represents a facet of impulsivity or a related but separate construct requires further study.

However, theoretical arguments and empirical evidence suggest that there are unique qualities to the constructs. Specifically, existing data suggest that self-report measures of impaired control and impulsivity over alcohol use relate distinctly to problem drinking indices in young adults.

Several lines of future research concerning impaired control are suggested, using the impulsivity literature as a guide.

We conclude that impaired control is a valuable construct to the study of young adult problem drinking and that measures of impaired control should be included in more young adult alcohol studies.

The extent to which impaired control over the use of other substances and impaired control over engagement in other addictive behaviors are clinically relevant constructs requires additional study.

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The Relationship of Alexithymia to Emotional Dysregulation Within an Alcohol Dependent Treatment Sample

Difficulties regulating emotions have implications for the development, maintenance, and recovery from alcohol problems.

One construct thought to impede the regulation of emotion is alexithymia. Alexithymia is characterized by difficulties identifying, differentiating and expressing feelings, a limited imagination and fantasy life, and an externally-oriented thinking style (e.g., prefer talking about daily activities rather than feelings).

Given that poor emotion regulation skills have been found to predict posttreatment levels of alcohol use, and that several defining characteristics of alexithymia bear similarity to deficits in emotion regulation skills, it is possible that alexithymia may predict poorer alcohol treatment outcomes.

Thus, the present study first examined the relationship of alexithymia to several other emotion regulation measures and then investigated the impact of alexithymia on attrition and alcohol treatment outcomes in men and women (N = 77) enrolled in a 12-week cognitive-behavioral intervention for alcohol dependence.

At baseline, higher scores on alexithymia were associated poorer emotion regulation skills, fewer percent days abstinent, greater alcohol dependence severity, and several high-risk drinking situations. Alexithymia was unrelated to attrition and to level of alcohol consumption at posttreatment

Overall, the construct of alexithymia is shown to be related to several theoretically-related constructs (e.g., emotion regulation, mindfulness) but demonstrated a limited relationship to drinking outcomes in those seeking treatment for alcohol dependence.

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Baclofen promotes alcohol abstinence in alcohol dependent cirrhotic patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and alcoholic liver disease (ALD), either alone or in combination, count for more than two thirds of all liver diseases in the Western world. There is no safe level of drinking in HCV-infected patients and the most effective goal for these patients is total abstinence.

Baclofen, a GABAB receptor agonist, represents a promising pharmacotherapy for alcohol dependence (AD). Previously, we performed a randomized clinical trial (RCT), which demonstrated the safety and efficacy of baclofen in patients affected by AD and cirrhosis.

The goal of this post-hoc analysis was to explore baclofen's effect in a subgroup of alcohol-dependent HCV-infected cirrhotic patients.

Any patient with HCV infection was selected for this analysis. Among the 84 subjects randomized in the main trial, 24 alcohol-dependent cirrhotic patients had a HCV infection; 12 received baclofen 10 mg t.i.d. and 12 received placebo for 12-weeks.

With respect to the placebo group (3/12, 25.0%), a significantly higher number of patients who achieved and maintained total alcohol abstinence was found in the baclofen group (10/12, 83.3%; p = 0.0123).

Furthermore, in the baclofen group, compared to placebo, there was a significantly higher increase in albumin values from baseline (p = 0.0132) and a trend toward a significant reduction in INR levels from baseline (p = 0.0716).

In conclusion, baclofen was safe and significantly more effective than placebo in promoting alcohol abstinence, and improving some LFTs (i.e. albumin, INR) in alcohol-dependent HCV-infected cirrhotic patients. Baclofen may represent a clinically relevant alcohol pharmacotherapy for these patients.

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Effect of the increase in “alcopops” tax on alcohol-related harms in young people: a controlled interrupted time series

To measure alcohol-related harms to the health of young people presenting to emergency departments (EDs) of Gold Coast public hospitals before and after the increase in the federal government “alcopops” tax in 2008.

Interrupted time series analysis over 5 years (28 April 2005 to 27 April 2010) of 15–29-year-olds presenting to EDs with alcohol-related harms compared with presentations of selected control groups.

Proportion of 15–29-year-olds presenting to EDs with alcohol-related harms compared with (i) 30–49-year-olds with alcohol-related harms, (ii)15–29-year-olds with asthma or appendicitis, and (iii) 15–29-year-olds with any non-alcohol and non-injury related ED presentation.

Over a third of 15–29-year-olds presented to ED with alcohol-related conditions, as opposed to around a quarter for all other age groups. There was no significant decrease in alcohol-related ED presentations of 15–29-year-olds compared with any of the control groups after the increase in the tax. We found similar results for males and females, narrow and broad definitions of alcohol-related harms, under-19s, and visitors to and residents of the Gold Coast.

The increase in the tax on alcopops was not associated with any reduction in alcohol-related harms in this population in a unique tourist and holiday region. A more comprehensive approach to reducing alcohol harms in young people is needed.

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This year’s Christmas in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been labelled ‘the bloodiest’ Christmas ever in Port Moresby with two deaths, four life threatening cases and several injuries from alcohol related cases.

This remark was made by chief of emergency medicine and director of emergency at the Port Moresby General Hospital Dr Sam Yockopua.

He said that they were expecting even the worst in the New Year celebrations citing that if worse come to worse, they were prepared to shut down and walk out.

And he has called for a total ban on alcohol during the week leading to the New Year celebrations. > > > > Read More

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Do 12-step meeting attendance trajectories over 9 years predict abstinence?

This study grouped treatment-seeking individuals (n = 1825) by common patterns of 12-step attendance using 5 waves of data (75% interviewed Year 9) to isolate unique characteristics and use-related outcomes distinguishing each class profile.

The “high” class reported the highest attendance and abstention.

The “descending” class reported high baseline alcohol severity, long treatment episodes, and high initial attendance and abstinence, but by Year 5, their attendance and abstinence dropped.

The “early-drop” class, which started with high attendance and abstinence but with low problem severity, reported no attendance after Year 1.

The “rising” class, with fairly high alcohol and psychiatric severity throughout, reported initially low attendance, followed by increasing attendance paralleling their abstention.

Last, the “low” and “no” classes, which reported low problem severity and very low/no attendance, had the lowest abstention.

Female gender and high alcohol severity predicted attendance all years.

Consistent with a sustained benefit for 12-step exposure, abstinence patterns aligned much like attendance profiles.

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Perceptions About Genetic Testing for the Susceptibility to Alcohol Dependence and Other Multifactorial Diseases

Beliefs, attitudes, and preferences about the risk and benefits of genetic testing are important determinants of willingness to undergo testing.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceived importance of genetic testing for alcohol dependence compared with other multifactorial diseases among African Americans.

Surveys were conducted with 258 participants using the Genetic Psycho-Social Implications (GPSI) questionnaire to evaluate several areas of hypothetical genetic testing for alcohol dependence. Respondents were divided into two groups: those who perceived testing for alcohol dependence to be equally important as testing for cancer and those who did not. Using chi-square, the groups' responses were compared for nine GPSI items measuring beliefs about the severity of alcohol dependence, general benefits of genetic testing, and specific benefits of genetic testing for diabetes, hypertension, or a disease affecting a family member.

Nearly 86% of respondents believed that genetic testing for alcoholism was equally as important as testing for cancer. Those who reported parity of importance of alcohol dependence and cancer screening were more likely to believe that alcoholism is a deadly disease (p<0.001) and genetic testing influences health (p<0.001). Conclusion: African Americans reported favorable attitudes and beliefs in possible availability of susceptibility genetic testing for alcohol dependence. The perceived importance of testing for alcohol dependence was associated with beliefs about the severity of alcoholism and certain benefits of genetic testing in general.

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Cameron eyes up minimum pricing says The Telegraph

The Prime Minister David Cameron is reportedly instructing officials to look at minimum pricing options, the much debated population level policy approach to reducing alcohol-related harm. Although Whitehall officials say no decision has yet been made, a Daily Telegraph report suggests measures could be outlined in the forthcoming national alcohol strategy expected in February 2012.

Cameron is reported to have instructed Whitehall officials to look at options to achieve a minimum price by either tax restructuring or, as currently being sought in Scotland, a standard minimum price per unit. Both could face difficulties under EU law as minimum pricing opponents state it breaches competition law, whilst the IFS recently advised lobbying for EU law changes to achieve tax restructuring for this purpose. > > > > Read More

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Attrition in Web-Based Treatment for Problem Drinkers

Web-based interventions for problem drinking are effective but characterized by high rates of attrition. There is a need to better understand attrition rates in order to improve the completion rates and the success of Web-based treatment programs.

The objectives of our study were to (1) examine attrition prevalence and pretreatment predictors of attrition in a sample of open-access users of a Web-based program for problem drinkers, and (2) to further explore attrition data from our randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Web-based program.

Attrition data from two groups of Dutch-speaking problem drinkers were collected: (1) open-access participants enrolled in the program in 2009 (n = 885), and (2) RCT participants (n = 156). Participants were classified as noncompleters if they did not complete all 12 treatment sessions (9 assignments and 3 assessments). In both samples we assessed prevalence of attrition and pretreatment predictors of treatment completion. Logistic regression analysis was used to explore predictors of treatment completion. In the RCT sample, we additionally measured reasons for noncompletion and participants’ suggestions to enhance treatment adherence. The qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

The open-access and RCT group differed significantly in the percentage of treatment completers (273/780, 35.0% vs 65/144, 45%, χ21 = 5.4, P = .02). Logistic regression analysis revealed a significant contribution of treatment readiness, gender, education level, age, baseline alcohol consumption, and readiness to change to predict treatment completion. The key reasons for noncompletion were personal reasons, dissatisfaction with the intervention, and satisfaction with their own improvement. The main suggestions for boosting strategies involved email notification and more flexibility in the intervention.

The challenge of Web-based alcohol treatment programs no longer seems to be their effectiveness but keeping participants involved until the end of the treatment program. Further research should investigate whether the suggested strategies to improve adherence decrease attrition rates in Web-based interventions. If we can succeed in improving attrition rates, the success of Web-based alcohol interventions will also improve and, as a consequence, their public health impact will increase.

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EUCAM meeting March 29-30, 2012

EUCAM organizes in cooperation with PARPA its fourth conference on alcohol marketing in Europe 29 and 30 March 2012 in Warsaw, Poland. The EUCAM contact persons of Public Health NGOs, governmental organizations and research institutes are invited to participate.

The topic of the training will be:

-Alcohol and sport sponsoring

-Training how to monitor alcohol marketing effectively

> > > > Read More

Monday, December 26, 2011

Oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC): alcohol and tobacco consumption versus non-consumption. A study in a Portuguese population

There has been an increase in the incidence of carcinoma of the tongue, particularly among alcohol and tobacco non-users. However, the number of studies that would allow a better understanding of etiological factors and clinical features, particularly in the Portuguese population, is very limited.

This study was based on patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the anterior two thirds of the tongue that were treated at the Department of Head and Neck Surgery of the “Instituto Portugues de Oncologia de Lisboa - Francisco Gentil” (IPOLFG) in Lisbon, Portugal, between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2009.

The patients were divided in alcohol and tobacco users and non-users in order to evaluate the differences between these 2 groups based on gender, age, tumor location, denture use, and tumor size, metastasis and stage. Of the 354 cases, 208 were users and 146 were non-users.

The main location in both groups was the lateral border of the tongue. Denture use showed no significant effect in both study groups.

It was possible to conclude that patients who did not drink or smoke were older and presented with smaller tumor size, lower incidence of ganglion metastasis and lower tumor stage compared with alcohol and tobacco users.

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Working with Older Drinkers


Evidence suggests that a significant and growing number of older people are at risk of alcohol-related harm:

• 20% of men and 10% of women aged 65 and over exceed recommended drinking guidelines and 3% of men and 0.6% of women aged 65-74 are alcohol dependent

• There has been a steady increase in the amount of alcohol consumed by older age groups in recent years.

• Consumption patterns suggest that the ‘baby-boomer’ cohort is likely to have higher levels of alcohol consumption in old age than previous cohorts of older people.

Increased alcohol consumption coupled with the projected increase in the population of older people
will place increasing pressure on substance misuse and health and social care services. However, little is known about the nature of the problem and what strategies and treatment approaches work best with older drinkers. The aim of this study was to address this deficit by synthesising relevant published literature, insight from substance misuse practitioners who specialise in working with older people and the perspectives of older people with alcohol problems.

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Clustering of multiple healthy lifestyles among older Korean adults living in the community

Despite the predictive value of combined healthy lifestyles in maintaining physical and cognitive functioning in late life, little is known about the clustering patterns of healthy lifestyle behaviors in older people. The aim of the present study was to examine the prevalence, clustering and population characteristics of adherence to multiple health behaviors in community-dwelling older Korean adults.

The study population consisted of a nationally representative sample of 4165 Korean adults aged 65 years and older in 2006. Healthy lifestyles, defined as adherence to recommended guidelines, included non-smoking, no heavy drinking, physical activity and healthy weight. Combinations of behavioral patterns and prevalence odds ratios for pairwise clusters were analyzed. Multinomial logistic regression was used to identify demographic and health-related characteristics associated with the number of adherence to guideline recommendations.

Those who adhered to all four guideline recommendations constituted the minority (11.7%). More women than men engaged in a higher number of healthy lifestyles. Clustering was more pronounced in men for whom no heavy alcohol drinking and physical activity centered around non-smoking. In women, clustering patterns were less obvious. Men, those with low levels of education, income and wealth, and the functionally impaired were less likely to adhere to multiple healthy lifestyles.

Clustering of healthy lifestyles, especially among older men, supports the potential benefit of a multiple behavior change approach. Health promotion efforts should target the socially disadvantaged and functionally compromised segment of the older population presenting low adherence to recommended behaviors.

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Beyond Primary Prevention of Alcohol Use: A Culturally Specific Secondary Prevention Program for Mexican Heritage Adolescents

Classroom-based primary prevention programs with adolescents are effective in inhibiting the onset of drug use, but these programs are not designed to directly address the unique needs of adolescents at higher risk of use or already using alcohol and other drugs.

This article describes the initial efficacy evaluation of a companion psychosocial small group program which aims at addressing the needs of Mexican heritage students identified by their teachers as being at higher risk for substance use or already experimenting with alcohol and other drugs.

The adolescent (7th grade) small group curricula,
REAL Groups, is a secondary prevention program which supplements the primary classroom-based substance use prevention program, keepin’ it REAL.

Following a mutual aid approach, a total of 109 7th grade students were referred by their teachers and participated in the
REAL Groups. The remaining 252 7th grade students who did not participate served as the control group. To account for biased selection into REAL Groups, propensity score matching (PSM) was employed. The estimated average treatment effect for participants’ use of alcohol was calculated at the end of the 8th grade.

Results indicate that alcohol use decreased among students who participated in the
REAL Groups relative to matched students who did not participate.

These findings suggest that
REAL Groups may be an effective secondary prevention program for higher-risk Mexican heritage adolescents.

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Alcohol New - 52/2011 - Alcohol Ups Aggression in Present-Focused Drinkers
Getting drunk increases aggression in people who have one particular personality trait: the inability to consider the future consequences of current behavior, according to new research.
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MarketWatch (USA) - Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) Charts Alcohol Industry's Digital Marketing, Questions Adequacy of Industry's Self-Regulation to Avoid Exposing Youth to "Alcohol Experience"
The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health today released a four-part YouTube movie ( ) charting the alcohol industry's push into digital marketing and raising questions whether the industry's self-regulation is adequately protecting underage youth from exposure to the "alcohol experience" available on social marketing platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
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Reuters (Philippines) - Philippines to review alcohol taxes after WTO ruling
The Philippines will review taxes on foreign alcohol products following a World Trade Organisation decision that the current system was discriminatory and the trade minister said the government will look at how to assist affected local distillers.
Read more (UK) - Hidden alcohol problem among elderly
A growing number of older people are exceeding the recommended alcohol limit, many of whom only develop harmful drinking habits when faced with bereavement, tedium and other stresses of retirement.
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aidsmap - Alcohol increases desire for sex without condoms: systematic review
Alcohol consumption has an impact on the intention of individuals to have unprotected sex, according to the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal Addiction.
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Scottish Daily Record (Scotland) - Plan for minimum alcohol prices will be contested in court admits Nicola Sturgeon
LEGISLATION for a minimum unit price for alcohol is "almost certain" to meet a legal challenge, the Health Secretary has said.
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Scotsman (Scotland) - One in seven children ‘drinking regularly’
THE scale of Scotland’s under-age alcohol problem was laid bare yesterday when a new survey showed that more than one third of 15 year-olds and one in seven 13 years olds admitted that they had taken a drink in the previous week.
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Vibe Ghana (Ghana) - Chief alarmed at rate of alcohol consumption in Builsa
The Nasuing Naab, Alex Azantilow, Regent of the Builsa Traditional Area, on Wednesday said alcohol consumption among the people is assuming an alarming proportion and affecting the manpower of the area.
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The Stir - Alcohol Hits Women Way Harder Than Men
You know how your husband can drink a few beers and not even blink, whereas you're wearing the proverbial lampshade after only a glass and a half of wine? A new study has underscored what we all know to be true: Alcohol affects women much more dramatically than it does men.
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The New Age Online (South Africa) - Presidential adviser’s blood ‘free of alcohol’
“The police are in sh*t. Blood sample results are back, alcohol in my blood: zero. I told them, banyile ngekhe ndibayeke.” So tweeted President Jacob Zuma’s adviser, Zizi Kodwa, on Tuesday.
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Daily Mail (UK) - A taste for champers! Cuts-hit BBC ran up a £366,000 bill on alcohol in five years
BBC executives were last night accused of ‘living it up on the licence fee’ after it emerged that the Corporation has spent £366,000 on alcohol in the past five years.
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Irish Times (Ireland) - No cheery side to excessive drinking at Christmas time
HOW OFTEN have you heard it said that drinking is part of our culture, part of our social norm, part of our economy? There’s reality and truth in this. You’re not a bad person if you like a drink, or for that matter if you don’t, and the Irish pub is a venue to be preserved as part of our natural heritage.
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Medscape - Help for Drinking Unpopular During Minor Injury Treatment
Patients presenting at minor injuries units (MIUs) in the United Kingdom may often fit the profile of "hazardous"" drinkers, making such settings ideal for interventions and advice to support problem drinking, according to a pilot study published online December 21 in Emergency Medicine Journal.

IIPS Scotland: Calling time on hazardous drinking: minimum pricing and behaviour change

The IIPS held a breakfast briefing to consider how we can influence and change one of the most significant public health issues in Scotland today. Through new research, we used the example of Scotland’s problematic drinking culture to bring to life behaviour change theory, and examine the possible effects of minimum pricing.

At this event, we were joined by Dr Bruce Ritson who responded to our presentation, in which we:

  1. Considered the culture of drinking in Scotland, reflecting on the current strategy for behaviour change,
  2. Presented the findings of new research into attitudes towards minimum pricing and examine the reported effect this may have on drinking behaviour,
  3. Reviewed research into attitudes towards alcohol, setting tFont sizehis in the wider context, highlighting areas in which we can further influence a change in behaviour.
> > > > Read More

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Acute alcohol consumption is associated with increased interatrial electromechanical delay in healthy men

Acute alcohol consumption can cause atrial fibrillation in patients with, and without, heart disease. Increased atrial electromechanical delay (EMD) has been associated with atrial fibrillation. We evaluated the atrial conduction properties by tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) echocardiography in healthy men following acute alcohol intake.

Thirty healthy male volunteers were included in this study. Baseline ECG, heart rate, blood pressure, and TDI echocardiographic findings were compared to readings take one hour after drinking six 12-oz cans of beer (76.8 g of ethanol).

Although the blood pressure and heart rate remained similar before and one hour after alcohol intake, Pmax and Pd values were significantly prolonged (114.2 ± 10.4 vs 100.8 ±
± 10.6, p = 0.002; 50.6 ± 9.6 vs 34.5 ± 8.8, p < 0.0001). Interatrial EMD was significantly
increased after drinking alcohol compared to the baseline (19.8 ± 9.2 vs 14.0 ± 5.5 ms, p < 0.0002).

Acute moderate
alcohol intake was associated with an increased interatrial EMD obtained by TDI echocardiography. This finding may help explain how these patients express increased susceptibility to atrial fibrillation.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Different guidelines for different countries? On the scientific basis of low-risk drinking guidelines and their implications

The scientific evidence for low-risk drinking guidelines was examined in a narrative review focusing on three points: definition of exposure, the best way to select outcomes and risk relations and how to determine thresholds.

With respect to exposure, at least two dimensions should be incorporated: average volume of alcohol consumption and patterns of irregular heavy drinking occasions.

Mortality should be selected as the most severe outcome, and a disaggregated approach should be adopted incorporating the regional demographic and cause of death structure.

Finally, our plea is for establishing a general threshold for acceptable risk on a societal level rather than ad hoc specific committees setting norms for specific risks. Acceptable thresholds will be different if the risk is to oneself or to others.

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News Release - "Hazardous" drinking in minor injuries unit similar to that of emergency care

“Hazardous” drinking in minor injuries unit similar to that of emergency care. The number and profile of “hazardous” drinkers turning up to an urban minor injuries unit is similar to that seen in emergency care, suggesting these units may be equally suitable for targeted interventions on alcohol, according to research from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London.

Minor injuries units—which offer rapid treatment to patients with less serious injuries—were developed to ease the pressures faced by emergency care departments, where around one in five patients has a minor injury.

Dr Robert Patton, from the Addictions Department at the Institute of Psychiatry and first author of the study, says: "Although MIUs are not set up to specifically treat alcohol problems, this pilot study demonstrates they are an appropriate location to identify patients who might benefit from some help or advice about their drinking, and suggests that with appropriate training MIU staff could then direct them toward appropriate services."

The researchers collected data from adults attending a major London hospital’s minor injuries unit (MIU) over a period of four weeks. The research was published online in Emergency Medicine Journal. > > > > Read More

Hazardous drinking among patients attending a minor injuries unit: a pilot study

Excessive alcohol consumption increases the likelihood of accidental injury. This pilot study reports on the prevalence of hazardous drinkers presenting to a minor injuries unit. The proportion of hazardous drinkers is broadly similar to that found in emergency departments, suggesting that such units could also host alcohol intervention and brief advice activities.

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SAMHSA’s Definition and Guiding Principles of Recovery – Answering the Call for Feedback

As part of SAMHSA’s efforts to provide stakeholders the opportunity to comment on the working definition of recovery and related guiding principles, several public feedback forums were run during the period August 12- 26, 2011. In addition to the forums, feedback was also submitted via the comments on the Recovery Defined – Give Us Your Feedback blog post.

The response to our request for feedback was tremendous and clearly demonstrated the field’s interest and concern on this important issue. The blog post received 259 comments. The two forums combined had over 1,000 participants, nearly 500 ideas, and over 1,200 comments on the ideas. Over 8,500 votes were also cast in support of the ideas on the forums.

SAMHSA appreciates the many thoughtful responses and suggestions received. All ideas were given careful consideration, and suggestions were incorporated into the final definition and principles (see below). Of particular note, we have added a preamble to the definition and principles emphasizing that there are many different pathways to recovery, and we have highlighted the importance of hope as the catalyst to the recovery process.

SAMHSA will disseminate the definition and principles as a resource to policy-makers, systems administrators, providers, practitioners, consumers, peers, family members, advocates, and others. The definition and principles are intended to help with the design, measurement, and reimbursement of services and supports to meet the individualized needs of those with mental disorders and substance use disorders. > > > > Read More

Acquisition, expression, and reinstatement of ethanol-induced conditioned place preference in mice: effects of exposure to stress and modulation by me

Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors mediate some of the rewarding and motivational effects of ethanol, including relapses. Relapses are common in drug addicts during abstinence when exposure to any stressor ensues.

However, the role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the ethanol- and stress-induced reinstatement of ethanol-induced conditioned place preference has not yet been explored. Therefore, the present study investigated the influence of mecamylamine, a nicotinic acetylcholine receptors antagonist on acquisition, expression, and reinstatement of ethanol-induced conditioned place preference in adult male Swiss mice.

The results revealed that mecamylamine (0.1–10 µg/mouse, intracerebroventricularly) dose dependently prevented the development, expression, and reinstatement of ethanol-induced conditioned place preference.

Further, acute treatment with mecamylamine blocked the restraint stress and forced swim stress-induced reinstatement of ethanol-induced conditioned place preference.

All of these treatments had no influence on the locomotor activity. Therefore, it is concluded that mecamylamine blocks the acquisition, expression and reinstatement of conditioned reinforcing effects of ethanol without per se reinforcing or aversive influence.

This ability of mecamylamine might be a potential advantage in the treatment of alcoholism.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. Learn more about signs, treatments, and what you can do about FASDs. > > > > Read More

SPECIAL: Year in Review: Alcohol news in 2011


YLE (Finland) - Alcohol Consumption Falls in Finland
Finns drank less alcohol this year than last. However, if alcohol tax is not raised, consumption might yet exceed recent records, says Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health.
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Herald Sun (Australia) - Alcohol behind almost all murders in Queensland, figures reveal
ALMOST every murder committed in Queensland during the past year was suspected to involve alcohol, crime statistics show.
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Focus Infomation (Spain) - Tougher traffic laws cut road deaths in Spain
The government credits the introduction of tough new road laws as well as the greater use of alcohol checkpoints and speed scanners for the decline in deaths from road accidents.
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Innovations (Sweden) - Consumption Report 2010: Swedes' alcohol consumption is falling
Despite the fact that the Swedish Alcohol Retail Monopoly's sales are rising and statistics from Statistics Sweden indicate that we drink more and more alcohol, the trend is going in the opposite direction – Swedes' alcohol consumption is falling. This emerges from the Consumption Report 2010 (Konsumtionsrapporten 2010) published by the Centre for Consumer Science at the University of Gothenburg.
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The Telegraph (Denmark) - Why is Denmark the cancer capital of the world?
One reason why Danish people seem to be particularly susceptible to cancer is that its record of diagnosing the disease is so good, meaning that more cases are picked up by the country's doctors than in most other parts of the world. But there are also lifestyle factors which could be having an influence on the figures reported by the World Cancer Research Fund from the World Health Organisation.
Read more (UK) - Alcohol-related liver disease in young people up 50% in a decade
The number of young people having to be treated in hospital for serious liver disease has risen by more than 50 per cent in the last decade, figures show.
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European Public Health Alliance (EU) - 2010 - Overview of activities in implementation of EU Alcohol Strategy
Between September and November 2010 all the existing EU structures working on alcohol conducted their meetings. You can find below reports of the following : the Open Alcohol and Health Forum, the European Alcohol and Health Forum, the Forum Science Group, as well as the Committee on National Policy and Action.
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Medical News Today - WHO Study: Alcohol Is International Number One Killer, AIDS Second
Today the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that alcohol is to blame for just about 4% of, or 2.5 million deaths worldwide annually. Alcohol attributable injuries are of a growing concern to the public health community, with alcohol-related injuries such as road traffic accidents, burns, poisonings, falls and drownings making up more than a third of the disease burden attributable to alcohol consumption.
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Barents Observer (Russia) - Every fifth Russian man dies of alcohol
The Russians drink an average of 15,76 liters of pure alcohol every year, which makes them the fourth most drinking country in the world, a new report from the World Health Organization reads.
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RIA Novosti (Moldova) - WHO names Moldova world's leader in alcohol consumption
Moldovans consume more alcohol per head than citizens of any other country, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its report.
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GlobalPost (Russia) - NEWS FLASH! Beer is alcohol, Russia says
The Russian parliament today finally acknowledged something taken as given the world over: beer is alcohol. The Duma passed a law on second reading (a third, largely ceremonial reading will follow, but the second is the most important) a bill that explicitly acknowledges that fact and bans the sale of beer between 11pm and 8am.
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EurekAlert (Sweden) - Parents important for keeping adolescents off alcohol
Parents who are both present and engaged are the very best way of preventing teenagers from consuming large quantities of alcohol. Adolescents who smoke, stay out with their friends and have access to alcohol – from their parents, for example – when they are as young as 13 are at greater risk of becoming binge drinkers in their late teens, reveals a new thesis from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
Read more (UK) - Health bodies slam "toothless" alcohol policy
Six prominent health organisations withdrew their support on Monday for a government initiative aimed at promoting responsible alcohol consumption, accusing ministers of not standing up to the drinks industry.
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Times LIVE (South Africa) - State declares war on alcohol abuse
The government is waging war on the alarming increase in the abuse of alcohol and drugs, and has warned of stricter legislation - including raising the legal age for alcohol consumption from 18 to 21.
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Norway: Government has to accept alcohol advertising on TV
The EU Commission will not grant Norway a continued exemption from the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. This means that the Norwegian government will have to accept TV advertising for alcoholic beverages in Norway when it is broadcast from another country.
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BCM (Russia) - Vladimir Putin speaks out against sharp rise in prices on alcohol in Russia
Speaking at the meeting of the Government Presidium on Thursday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that a sharp hike in excise duties and, accordingly, the price of alcohol would be unacceptable.
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Eureka! Science News - Underage binge drinking can create lasting brain changes
Adolescents represent the majority of people who binge drink. This may come as a surprise to some, but recent surveys indicate that episodes of heavy alcohol drinking within the previous two weeks are reported by 12 percent of 8th graders, 22 percent of 10th graders, 28 percent of 12th grade seniors and 44 percent of college students.
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BMJ (EU) - Alcohol attributable burden of incidence of cancer in eight European countries based on results from prospective cohort study
In western Europe, an important proportion of cases of cancer can be attributable to alcohol consumption, especially consumption higher than the recommended upper limits. These data support current political efforts to reduce or to abstain from alcohol consumption to reduce the incidence of cancer.
Read more - Glass or two of wine a week 'could damage baby'
Pregnant women who drink as little as a glass of wine a week could be putting their babies at risk, according to new research which contracts recent studies indicating that an occasional tipple is harmless.
Read more (Italy) - Study: Italian youth at alcohol risk
The country's Higher Health Institute released a report Thursday saying at-risk drinkers of both sexes under the age of 16 are on the rise, with 18.5 percent of males and 15.5 percent of females in that age bracket showing worrying drink patterns, ANSA reported.
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Focus-Fen (Sweden) - Sweden launches new strategy to combat narcotic, alcohol problems
The Swedish government Tuesday launched a new comprehensive strategy to deal with alcohol, drugs, doping and tobacco problems together.
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ABC Online (Australia) - Alcohol strongly linked to cancer
The Cancer Council of Australia has issued a new position statement recommending that people limit their alcohol intake to reduce their risk of developing cancer.
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Wine Spectator (Australia) - Aussie Health Group Says No to Alcohol, Even in Moderation
An Australian health organization has issued an eyebrow-raising report urging people to abstain from alcohol completely in order to reduce their risk of cancer.
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BBC News (UK) - Alcohol-related hospital admissions reach record level
The number of alcohol-related hospital admissions in England has topped one million for the first time, according to official statistics.
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The Hindu - Even small amounts of alcohol impact the brain
Just the one drink can sometimes prove one too many when it comes to alcohol, according to Chinese researchers who have discovered that even minimal alcohol intake can cause immediate damage to the brain.
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Daily Mail (EU) - Men twice as likely as women to die before 65 because of smoking and alcohol abuse
Smoking and drinking too much means men are twice as likely as women to die before the age of 65, a European Union study has revealed.
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Scottish Daily Record (Scotland) - Nicola Sturgeon: SNP will make war on cheap alcohol top priority in 2012
HEALTH secretary Nicola Sturgeon yesterday vowed to drive through minimum pricing for drink within a year.
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NHS Choices - Alcohol 'may damage a baby's DNA'
“Alcohol damages DNA of unborn children beyond repair,” The Independent reported today. The newspaper says that “scientists have identified the precise molecular mechanism” through which this damage happens.
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Alcohol and Alcoholism (EU) - Heavy Episodic Drinking in Europe: A Cross Section Study in Primary Care in Six European Countries
Consecutive attenders aged 18–75 were recruited from the UK, Spain, Slovenia, Estonia, the Netherlands and Portugal and followed up after 6 months. Data were collected on alcohol use using the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification test (at recruitment and 6 months) and risk factors for heavy episodic alcohol use at recruitment.
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Daily Mail - How much alcohol is REALLY safe? None, say cancer specialists
French researchers said most nations including the UK and U.S. set their drink limit guidelines to deal with short-term effects of alcohol and were not designed to prevent chronic diseases.
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The Guardian (France) - France's young binge drinkers upset cafe society with their 'British boozing'
Midnight on the Left Bank and the cafes and bars on Place St-Michel are, on the surface at least, unchanged from the 1920s, when Ernest Hemingway immortalised one in the opening chapter of A Moveable Feast.
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AUGUST (Ireland) - Drink may cause ‘invisible’ brain harm
MORE than 4,000 Irish people could be suffering from an "invisible" serious brain injury caused by alcohol abuse, according to research.
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AFP (USA) - More than half of Americans drink alcohol: report
More than half of Americans aged 12 and up drink alcohol, a quarter binge-drank in the past month, and one in 14 teens has used marijuana, a US government agency says in a report on substance abuse.
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Medscape - Industry Influence on UN Noncommunicable Disease Summit?
The United Nations (UN) High-Level Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) will convene in New York City from September 19 to 20. However, negotiations recently broke down in drafting an outcomes document that will contain commitments toward progress in 4 target NCD areas: cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses, cancer, and diabetes.
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Austrian Independent (Austria) - Alcohol addiction warning issued
Around 900,000 of the 8.5 million residents of Austrian are consuming health-threatening amounts of alcohol, experts have warned.
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Euractiv (EU) - Combat alcohol abuse with mandatory labels, EU urged
Policymakers gathered in Brussels this week to discuss the risks posed by alcohol abuse to unborn children urged the EU to introduce mandatory warning labels on bottles and cans.
Read more (New Zealand) - Alcohol contributes to quarter of child deaths – report
Alcohol contributed to the deaths of one in four children and young people who died between 2005 and 2007, a new report has found.
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The Age (Australia) - Experts see red over wine 'myth'
RED wine's reputation for preventing heart attacks has come under fire from health experts who have declared every drink of alcohol can do you damage.
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CNN International - WHO outlines steps to reduce leading causes of death
To decrease deaths from noninfectious diseases, countries should pass excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, encourage smoke-free public places, reduce salt and trans fat in foods, and increase awareness of diet and physical activity, according to a World Health Organization report.
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Los Angeles Times (USA) - Drinking problems have increased in last 60 years
An analysis of 31 studies on alcohol drinking patterns worldwide has found that people born in North America after World War II are more likely than other groups to engage in binge drinking and develop alcoholism. Younger groups consistently consume more alcohol than older generations.
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European Public Health Alliance (WHO Europe) - New Action Plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol adopted by 53 countries in Europe
Representatives from the 53 WHO European Region Member States met at the 61st session of the Regional Committee for Europe and adopted the European Action Plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.
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IceNews (Denmark) - WHO calls for Denmark drinking age hike
The World Health Organisation has warned the new Danish government that it should take steps to reduce the amount of alcohol being consumed by teenagers.
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Independent Online (South Africa) - Foetal alcohol syndrome is on the rise, says study
FOETAL alcohol syndrome is ravaging Western Cape farming communities, with hundreds of children affected, research has found.
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PR Newswire - Big Alcohol Drunk With Power
Industry watchdog Alcohol Justice, formerly Marin Institute, released a new report today that chronicles an obscene outlay of Big Alcohol dollars to California legislators in 2010.
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EurekAlert (Baltics/Italy) - Link between alcohol and harm is stronger in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Sweden than in Italy
Research clearly shows a dose-response relationship between alcohol and health issues such as cirrhosis of the liver. More recent research has shown linkages between greater drinking and greater problems such as interpersonal violence. A study of the impact that the larger, cultural context of drinking in several European countries may have on the relationship between drinking and harm has found that this relationship is stronger in the Baltic countries and Sweden than Italy.
Read more (EU) - Commission stresses the need for action to protect young people from alcohol-related harm at the EU Alcohol and Health Forum
Although minimum drinking age in most EU Member states is set at 18 years old, the most recent European surveys show that half of school children aged 15 to16 years have drunk alcohol in the past month. In order to tackle this situation and take action to protect young people, experts, industry and other stakeholder have met at the the 9th plenary meeting of the European Alcohol and Health Forum held in in Brussels on 19 October.
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NHS Choices - Breast cancer link to alcohol studied
Women who drink within the recommended limits are still putting their health at risk, according to The Daily Telegraph. It said new research shows that less than one small glass of wine a day increases the risk of breast cancer.
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EPHA (EU) - 68 NGOs call of a new EU alcohol strategy
Under Eurocare’s leadership, 68 international, European and National NGOs (including EPHA) joined forces to call for a comprehensive Alcohol Policy Strategy in the European Union 2013-2020.
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AHN | All Headline News - Teenage girls up breast cancer risk with every alcoholic drink
Among teen girls with a family history of breast cancer, there is a significant association between the amount of alcohol consumed and the risk of getting benign breast disease, which is a known breast cancer risk factor.
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Toronto Star (Canada) - Women are the new face of alcohol advertising
She's the image of poised perfection: a come-hither blonde in a sexy gold dress, balancing a martini between polished red nails, painted just a shade darker than the swizzle stick perched jauntily through the “o” in “Classic Cocktails” above her head.
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The (Germany) - One in five German children have alcoholic or drug-addict parents
One in five German children have alcoholic or drug-addict parents, according to the latest annual figures on drugs and addiction.
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Kashmir Watch (China) - China Prohibits Advertising of Alcoholic Drinks
Nine out of the more than 20 national Chinese television networks (CCTV) will not air TV commercials that advertise beer, wine, or any other type of alcoholic drink, according to He Haiming, vice-director of CCTV's advertising operations and management center, as told to the Beijing Today newspaper.
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Baltic Business News (Estonia) - Researcher: Estonia should triple alcohol excise duty
Indrek Saar writes in his doctor’s thesis that the alcohol taxation rate that was introduced in 2009 is notably below the optimum level.
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The Atlantic (Italy) - A Sobering Look at Alcohol: 10-Year Study Finds High Death Rate
A number of studies in the past few years have suggested health benefits from drinking small or moderate amounts of alcohol. This can encourage people to look at alcohol almost as if it's medicine. A recent study of alcohol use in Italy paints a much more sobering picture.
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Mindshare (Lithuania) - Alcohol advertising ban denied
Lithuanian Parliament has abjured complete ban of alcohol advertising. Alcohol advertising details are in constant questioning, as the latter plan oversaw a complete ban of outdoor, internet and print advertising.
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Medical Daily - Underage Drinking Boosts Criminal Activity: Researchers
While alcohol has frequently been linked to criminal activity among adults, a new study finds that there is a strong association between childhood drinking and criminal activity.
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New Zealand Herald (Australia) - New warning labels for pregnant women on NZ liquor products
Warning labels aimed at pregnant women will be added to all alcohol products in New Zealand and Australia.
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