Alcohol Effects

An Increase of Despair for Generation X

Indicators of despair -- depression, suicidal ideation, drug use and alcohol abuse -- are rising among Americans in their late 30s and early 40s across most demographic groups, according to new research led by Lauren Gaydosh, assistant professor of Medicine, Health and Society and Public Policy Studies at Vanderbilt University. These findings suggest that the increase in "deaths of despair" observed among low-educated middle-aged white Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) in recent studies may begin to impact the youngest members of Generation X (born 1974-1983) more broadly in the years to come.

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Many in Recovery Have Chronic Health Problems

Alcohol and other substance-use problems take enormous psychological and societal tolls on millions of Americans. Now a study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Recovery Research Institute shows that more than a third of individuals who consider themselves in recovery from an alcohol or other substance use disorder continue to suffer from chronic physical disease. The study, published online in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, is the first to look at the national prevalence of medical conditions that are commonly caused or exacerbated by excessive and chronic alcohol and other drug use among people in addiction recovery.

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Alcohol Frequently Considered Migraine Trigger

In a European Journal of Neurology study of 2,197 patients who experience migraines, alcoholic beverages were reported as a trigger by 35.6 percent of participants. Additionally, more than 25 percent of migraine patients who had stopped consuming or never consumed alcoholic beverages did so because of presumed trigger effects.

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Even Light Drinking Increases Risk of Death

Drinking a daily glass of wine for health reasons may not be so healthy after all, suggests a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Analyzing data from more than 400,000 people ages 18 to 85, the researchers found that consuming one to two drinks four or more times per week -- an amount deemed healthy by current guidelines -- increases the risk of premature death by 20 percent, compared with drinking three times a week or less. The increased risk of death was consistent across age groups.

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Study: No Safe Level of Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is a leading risk factor for death and disease worldwide, and is associated with nearly one in 10 deaths in people aged 15-49 years old, according to a Global Burden of Disease study published in The Lancet that estimates levels of alcohol use and health effects in 195 countries between 1990 to 2016.

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Alcohol's Health Benefits Overstated?

The benefits of light alcohol consumption, as well as the risks associated with not drinking at all, might not be as great as previously thought, according to Penn State researchers who examined the drinking habits of middle-aged adults.

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Alcohol Increases Risks of Heart Conditions

Alcohol abuse increases the risk of atrial fibrillation, heart attack and congestive heart failure as much as other well-established risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and obesity, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Alcohol Helps Bacteria Harm the Liver

End-stage liver disease or liver cirrhosis is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and approximately half of these cases are related to alcohol consumption. There's no refuting that alcohol itself harms the liver, but new research in mice and humans published February 10 in Cell Host & Microbe reveals that chronic drinking also promotes the growth of gut bacteria that can travel to the liver and exacerbate liver disease.

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Bariatric Surgery Can Lead to Alcohol Abuse

Among patients who underwent bariatric surgery, there was a higher prevalence of alcohol use disorders in the second year after surgery, and specifically after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, compared with the years immediately before and following surgery, according to a study in JAMA.

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Alcohol Greatly Increases Serious Injury Risk

Researchers know that alcohol impairs coordination and the ability to perceive and respond to hazards, and that hangovers impair neurocognitive performance and psychomotor vigilance. This study closely examined alcohol-related injuries admitted to hospital, finding that alcohol greatly increases risk for serious injury.

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How Alcohol Interferes With Sleep

Large amounts of alcohol are known to shorten sleep latency, increase slow-wave sleep, and suppress rapid eye movement (REM) during the first half of sleep. During the second half of sleep, REM increases and sleep becomes shallower. A study of the acute effects of alcohol on the relationship between sleep and heart rate variability (HRV) during sleep has found that alcohol interferes with the restorative functions of sleep.

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Brain Damage Seen in Young Binge-Drinkers

It's considered a rite of passage among young people – acting out their independence through heavy, episodic drinking. But a new University of Cincinnati study, the first of its kind nationally, is showing how binge drinking among adolescents and young adults could be causing serious damage to a brain that's still under development at this age.

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Alcohol's Damaging Effects on the Brain

While alcohol has a wide range of pharmacological effects on the body, the brain is a primary target. However, the molecular mechanisms by which alcohol alters neuronal activity in the brain are poorly understood. Participants in a symposium at the annual meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Antonio, Texas addressed recent findings concerning the interactions of alcohol with prototype brain proteins thought to underlie alcohol actions in the brain.

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Alcohol Can Increase Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

A review of research studies indicate that alcohol consumption can increase the risk for developing atrial fibrillation. Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). Its name comes from the fibrillating (i.e., quivering) of the heart muscles of the atria, instead of a coordinated contraction.

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Alcohol Damages Much More Than the Liver

Alcohol does much more harm to the body than just damaging the liver. Drinking also can weaken the immune system, slow healing, impair bone formation, increase the risk of HIV transmission and hinder recovery from burns, trauma, bleeding and surgery.

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