Higher quality of life seen among regular moderate drinkers than among abstainers
Data from a nationally representative sample of 5,404 community-dwelling Canadians ages 50 and older at baseline (1994/1995) was used to estimate the effects of alcohol drinking patterns on quality of life when subjects were aged =50 years and after a follow-up period. Health-related quality of life was assessed with the Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3). The authors report that most participants showed stable alcohol-consumption patterns over 6 years.
Detailed information was available on the participants alcohol consumption. Moderate drinkers were defined as those having 1 drinks per week with no more than 3 on any day for women and no more than 4 on any day for men. The repeated assessments allowed for the investigators to classify subjects according to changes over time in their drinking patterns, so that "persistent moderate drinkers" could be identified. 31.4% of the subjects decreased their intake over the follow-up period. The investigators also did secondary analyses among subjects who did not report any adverse health conditions (heart disease, cancer, stroke, or diabetes) during the first four years of follow up; these subjects were referred to as "consistently healthy."
Regular moderate drinkers had the highest indices of quality of life at baseline, but subsequent changes in quality of life indicators were similar in all groups except for those reporting decreasing alcohol consumption. The investigators conclude that regular moderate drinkers had higher initial levels of health-related quality of life than abstainers and those in other groups. However, rates of decline over time were similar for all groups except those decreasing their consumption from moderate levels, who showed a greater decline in their level of health-related quality of life than regular moderate users.
While Forum reviewers admired the intent of this study, there were concerns about some of the statistical and epidemiologic aspects. The reasons that some people stopped drinking or decreased their intake were not known; although they were 'consistently healthy' at baseline. Forum reviewer Harvey Finkel comments: "As people age, even disregarding medical obstacles, social interactions generally decrease, which leads to both less stimulation to drink and less opportunity to drink." It is thus important that the reasons that someone stops drinking, or decreases his or her intake, are taken into account.
Further, the "baseline" quality of life measures in this study were obtained when subjects were aged 50 or older; this baseline value of quality of life was higher in moderate drinkers. However, there are statistical problems if adjustments are made for this when quality of life is assessed subsequently and related to drinking pattern. Peto has described this problem as a "horse-racing effect." He states that in prospective studies, the correlation between exposures (e.g., drinking pattern) and outcomes (e.g., quality of life) assessments during follow up are likely to be the same as the outcome at the end of follow up. As an analogy he uses a race between 'slow' and 'fast' horses; it is likely that the fast horses will be ahead at the mid-point of the race as well as at the end. Environmental effects on quality of life begin early in life, and if one adjusts for the mid-life value (as done and referred to as "baseline" in the present study), you may end up disregarding much of the effect of subsequent alcohol intake.
Overall, this study shows a positive relation between regular moderate alcohol intake and quality of life in middle-aged adults. The effects on the subsequent quality of life as one ages of continued alcohol consumption, or of decreasing intake, remain unclear.
More information: Critique 083: Higher quality of life seen among regular moderate drinkers than among abstainers 20 June 2012
To read the full critique: www.bu.edu/alcohol… 0-june-2012/
Reference: Kaplan MS, Huguet N, Feeny D, McFarland BH, Caetano R, Bernier J, Giesbrecht N, Oliver L, Ross N. Alcohol Use Patterns and Trajectories of Health-Related Quality of Life in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A 14-Year Population-Based Study. J. Stud Alcohol Drugs 2012;73:581
Provided by Boston University Medical Center
- Moderate drinking may help older women live longer Dec 13, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Study supports association of alcohol and diabetes Mar 29, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Pattern of drinking affects the relation of alcohol intake to coronary heart disease Dec 02, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Alcohol drinking in the elderly: Risks and benefits Jun 27, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- The effect of occasional binge drinking on heart disease and mortality among moderate drinkers Feb 02, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Calculus of Variation - Classical Mechanics
54 minutes ago I'm reading Classical Mechanics (Taylor), and the 6th chapter is a basic introduction to calculus of variations. I'm super confused :confused: ...
Frictional Force Equation Doesn't Make Sense
58 minutes ago Frictional Force is mathematically defined as: Ff = μ*m*g*cos(θ) , where μ is the coefficient of friction, m is the mass of the object, g is...
Calculating Steam Pressure in Closed Container
6 hours ago I am trying to calculate the volume of liquid water i need to place in a sealed container in order to obtain 10 psi of steam pressure in that closed...
Learning curve of Electromagnetism?
11 hours ago I'm taking a first year physics course and have been having a little trouble with the basics of newtons laws and forces and whatnot, though nothing...
thin glass in liquid
12 hours ago I have one question about optics because I start interested in it. If an object is placed a distance p from a thin glass lens (index of refraction...
How many joules expended for a push up?
15 hours ago Just wondering if any of you can do the calculation that well approximates the amount of joules expended by a push up.
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
In order to avoid exposing vulnerable groups such as children and young adults to alcohol advertising, industry groups have developed their own self-regulation guidelines. However, these guidelines have been criticized for ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
In order to avoid harms associated with alcohol consumption, in 2009 the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism issued guidelines that define low-risk drinking. These guidelines differ for men and women: no more ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Treatment for alcohol use disorders works best if the patient actively understands and incorporates the interventions provided in the clinic. Multiple factors can influence both the type and degree of neurocognitive abnormalities ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of South Florida have evaluated how Florida health care and social service agencies distribute "Libres para Siempre", a Spanish smoking relapse prevention booklet ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Declines in smoking among youths were observed from the late 1990s. "However, limited information exists on trends in smokeless ...
Addiction May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Regular consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an autoimmune liver disease, Mayo Clinic research shows. The findings were being presented at the Digestive Disease ...
35 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Patients with treatment-resistant major depression saw dramatic improvement in their illness after treatment with ketamine, an anesthetic, according to the largest ketamine clinical trial to-date led by researchers from the ...
34 minutes ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) explores new methods for managing digestive health through diet and lifestyle.
22 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
There are significant cost and risk factors associated with two procedures commonly used to diagnose or treat gastrointestinal problems, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
12 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
The use of a smartphone application significantly improves patients' preparation for a colonoscopy, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week (DDW). The preparation process, which begins days in ...
2 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
An increasing number of U.S. children are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that require interventions to resolve, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
15 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |