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.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Alcohol and smoking consumption behaviours in older Australian adults: prevalence, period and socio-demographic differentials in the DYNOPTA sample

Alcohol consumption and tobacco use are key risk factors for chronic disease and health burden across the adult lifespan. We estimate the prevalence of alcohol consumption and smoking by age and time period in adults from mid to old age.

Participants (n = 50,652) were drawn from the Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing (DYNOPTA) project and were compared with Australian National Health Survey data. Alcohol and smoking consumption DYNOPTA data were weighted to the estimated resident population of the sampling frame for each contributing study according to age and sex distributions within major statistical regions.

Comparisons in the rates of smoking and alcohol consumption between DYNOPTA and other national surveys were comparable. Males were more likely to be (RRR = 2.12) or have been smokers (RRR = 2.97), whilst females were more likely to be non-drinkers (RRR = 2.52). Period effects were also identified; higher prevalence rates in consumption of alcohol (RRR = 3.21) and smoking (RRR = 1.67) for those contributing studies from the early 1990’s, in comparison with those studies from the latter half of the decade, were reported.

Over a decade, prevalence rates for high-risk consumption of alcohol and current smoking behaviour declined and suggest the possible impact of government health policy, with targeted-health policies, that included bans on public smoking, and a toughening of legislation against alcohol-related crime.

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Experimental Alcohol-Related Peripheral Neuropathy: Role of Insulin/IGF Resistance

The mechanisms of alcohol-related peripheral neuropathy (ALPN) are poorly understood. We hypothesize that, like alcohol-related liver and brain degeneration, ALPN may be mediated by combined effects of insulin/IGF resistance and oxidative stress.

Adult male Long Evans rats were chronically pair-fed with diets containing 0% or 37% ethanol (caloric), and subjected to nerve conduction studies

Chronic ethanol feeding slowed nerve conduction in the tibial (p = 0.0021) motor nerve, and not plantar sensory nerve, but it did not affect amplitude. Histological studies of the sciatic nerve revealed reduced nerve fiber diameters with increased regenerative sprouts, and denervation myopathy in ethanol-fed rats. qRT-PCR analysis demonstrated reduced mRNA levels of insulin, IGF-1, and IGF-2 polypeptides, IGF-1 receptor, and IRS2, and ELISAs revealed reduced immunoreactivity for insulin and IGF-1 receptors, IRS-1, IRS-4, myelin-associated glycoprotein, and tau in sciatic nerves of ethanol-fed rats (all p < 0.05 or better).

The findings suggest that ALPN is characterized by (1) slowed conduction velocity with demyelination, and a small component of axonal degeneration; (2) impaired trophic factor signaling due to insulin and IGF resistance; and (3) degeneration of myelin and axonal cytoskeletal proteins.

Therefore, ALPN is likely mediated by molecular and signal transduction abnormalities similar to those identified in alcoholic liver and brain degeneration.

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Are the 1976-1985 birth cohorts heavier drinkers? Age-period-cohort analyses of the National Alcohol Surveys 1979-2010

To estimate age-period-cohort models predicting alcohol volume, heavy drinking and beverage-specific alcohol volume in order to evaluate whether the 1976-1985 birth cohorts drink relatively heavily.

Data from seven cross-sectional surveys of the US conducted between 1979 and 2010 were utilized in negative binomial generalized linear models of age, period and cohort effects predicting alcohol measures.

General population surveys of the US.

36,432 US adults (aged 18 or older).

Monthly number of alcohol drinks, beer, wine and spirits drinks and days drinking 5 or more drinks in the past year derived from beverage-specific graduated frequency questions.

Relative to the reference 1956-60 birth cohort, men in the 1976-1980 cohort for were found to consume more alcohol (Incidence rate ratio (IRR) =1.222: CI 1.07-1.39) and to have more 5+ days (IRR=1.365: CI 1.09-1.71) as were men in the 1980-85 cohort for volume (IRR=1.284: CI 1.10-1.50) and 5+ days (IRR=1.437: CI 1.09-1.89). For women, those in the 1980-85 cohort were found to have higher alcohol volume (IRR=1.299: CI 1.07-1.58) and more 5+ days (IRR=1.547: CI 1.01-2.36). Beverage-specific models found different age patterns of volume by beverage with a flat age pattern for both genders’ spirits and women's wine, an increasing age pattern for men's wine and a declining age pattern from the early 20's for beer.

In the United States, men born between 1976 and 1985, and women born between 1981 and 1985 have higher alcohol consumption.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

New RCPI policy group on alcohol to recommend minimum pricing and restricted availability to reduce deaths

The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland has established a national policy group to address the health and social burden of alcohol in Ireland.
The policy group brings together experts from a wide range of organisations, including the Irish College of General Practitioners, the National Cancer Control Programme, the College of Psychiatry of Ireland, the Institute of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, the Irish Society of Gastroenterology, and the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine.
This multi-disciplinary group will address the unacceptably high levels of alcohol health harm in Ireland by proposing practical solutions backed up by a robust, international evidence base. The group’s recommendations will be focused on reducing the harm caused by alcohol to health and society. > > > > Read More

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Alcohol E-shot

Welcome to the August issue of the Alcohol E-shot produced by the North West Public Health Observatory on behalf of the Public Health Observatories in England. This bulletin highlights the latest alcohol research evidence, reports, media articles and resources on a monthly basis.

Alcohol News - 33/2012

Science Nordic (Norway) - For Norwegian drug
addicts, pregnancy might lead to incarceration
A unique law gives social workers in Norway the
right to lock up pregnant drug addicts to protect the health of unborn children.
A new study looks at how the pregnant users react to being incarcerated.

Göteborg Daily (Sweden) - New treatment for
Researchers in Sweden say they have found a
potential treatment for alcohol dependence. The drug candidate, OSU6162, was
developed by Nobel Prize winner Arvid Carlsson in Gothenburg. It has been
studied for treatment of alcohol dependence by researchers at Karolinska
Institutet and the University of Gothenburg.

Reuters (South Africa) - Insight: African
alcohol binge raises pressure for crackdown
On a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon in
Worcester, a forlorn rural community near South Africa's southern tip, the queue
at the liquor store is the longest in town.

Examiner - Alcohol abuse can be predicted in
adolescents by MRI
Lindsay M. Squeglia, Ph.D., of the University of
California, San Diego led a group of researchers that reported a direct
connection between the lack of brain activity in specific brain regions as
detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and future heavy drinking in the
September issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs that was reviewed
at the Eureka Alert web site on August 8, 2012.

RTT News - Deadly Cocktail: Alcohol Ads In
Youth Magazines Violate Industry Rules
Each year, more than $4 billion is estimated to
be spent by the alcohol industry for marketing its products. That youth are
being disproportionately exposed to appealing alcohol advertisements in
magazines is a known fact.

Scottish Daily Record (Scotland) - Revealed:
Shocking figures show one Scottish child in 10 is living with an alcoholic
The research shows that up to 93,000 youngsters
under the age of 16 are living with one or more parents with a drink
more - Vigilant Parenting Helps
Prevent Alcohol Misuse in Teens With ADHD
Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD) are at risk for numerous social, psychological, and academic
challenges. Negative behaviors can draw unwanted attention to children with ADHD
and make them feel like they are different than their peers.

ABC Online (Australia) - Blanket alcohol ban
to stamp out drinking in park
In a bid to quell problems with vandalism and
anti-social behaviour Lake Macquarie Council has been asked to place a total ban
on alcohol consumption at Mahrahkah Park and Charlestown Oval.

Firstpost (Australia) - End of good times on
Facebook for alcohol brands
In a development which could impact the way
brands in certain categories use Facebook, “The Australian Advertising Standards
Board has ruled that Facebook is an advertising medium, and as such, company
pages must comply with pertinent codes and laws, vetting all public posts to
ensure they are not sexist, racist or factually inaccurate,” says
more - Study finds more youth
start using drugs, alcohol, tobacco during the
A recent report by the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration indicates that youths between the ages of
12 and 17 are more likely to start using drugs, alcohol and cigarettes during
the summer than other portions of the year.

The Daily Post (New Zealand) - MP calls for
tougher drink rules for teens
Tougher rules are needed to deal with
alcohol-fuelled antics of young people, says Rotorua MP Todd McClay.