Alcohol is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and liver-related deaths. Results of a large long-term study in Sweden have confirmed that drinking during late adolescence could be the first step towards liver problems in adulthood and that guidelines for safe alcohol intake in men might have to be revised downwards, reports the Journal of Hepatology.
Drinking alcohol, is a well-engrained and long-standing social habit in many countries around the world, even though the fact that alcohol has an impact on one's health is largely established, especially when it comes to heavy drinking.
An early age at first drink (AFD) has been linked to later alcohol-related problems, which is one of the reasons behind the legal drinking age of 21 in the U.S. It is unclear, however, if increased risk is primarily due to initiation of any drinking, or initiation of heavier drinking. A comparison of the influence of these potential risk factors among college undergraduates found that both an early AFD as well as a quick progression from the first drink to drinking to intoxication independently predicted later problems.
Heavy drinking is known to affect teenagers' developing brains, but certain patterns of brain activity may also help predict which kids are at risk of becoming problem drinkers, according to a study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
Minors who were familiar with television alcohol advertisements were more likely to have tried alcoholic beverages and binge drink than those who could not recall seeing such ads, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston.
Allowing adolescents to drink alcohol under adult supervision does not appear to teach responsible drinking as teens get older. In fact, such a "harm-minimization" approach may actually lead to more drinking and alcohol-related consequences, according to a study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that 5.9 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 14 drank alcohol in the past month and that the vast majority of them (93.4 percent) received their alcohol for free the last time they drank.
Middle-school children whose parents restrict access to R-rated movies are substantially less likely to start drinking than their peers who are allowed to see such films, a new study suggests. In a study of nearly 3,600 New England middle school students, researchers found that among kids who said their parents never allowed them to watch R movies, few took up drinking over the next couple years.
Girls and young women who drink alcohol increase their risk of benign (noncancerous) breast disease, says a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard University. Benign breast disease increases the risk for developing breast cancer.