More ED visits because of alcohol, 175% increase in 25- to 29-year-olds seeking care

New research shows dramatically rising visits to emergency departments (ED) related to alcohol, especially for women, with a 175% increase in alcohol-related visits from young people aged 25 to 29. The article, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), shows increases in ED visits related to alcohol that are occurring much faster than overall ED usage.

“These increases are consistent with data showing increasing average weekly alcohol consumption in Ontario and higher rates of binge drinking across Canada during the study period, particularly in women,” says lead author Dr. Daniel Myran, a family physician and public health resident at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario.

The study included 765 346 ED visits by 480 611 people (32% from women) in Ontario, Canada’s largest province, because of alcohol between 2003 and 2016. Some findings:

  • Women who visited the ED due to alcohol were more likely to be under the legal drinking age of 19 years (17%) than men (9%).

Full story at Science Daily

New mothers reduce their alcohol intake, but this change is short-lived

Most women dramatically reduce their alcohol intake on learning they are pregnant, but by the time their child is five they are back to their pre-pregnancy drinking levels, a new international study has found.

The research, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, reported little change in the drinking patterns of men on becoming fathers.

The paper, ‘Alcohol and parenthood: an integrative analysis of the effects of transition to parenthood in three Australasian cohorts’ is published in the latest edition of Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal.

Full story at Science Daily

Alcohol intake may be key to long-term weight loss for people with Diabetes

Research shows that losing weight can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. While best practice for weight loss often includes decreasing or eliminating calories from alcohol, few studies examine whether people who undergo weight loss treatment report changes in alcohol intake and whether alcohol influences their weight loss.

A new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) suggests that alcohol consumption may attenuate long-term weight loss in adults with Type 2 diabetes.

In the study, close to 5,000 people who were overweight and had diabetes were followed for four years. One group participated in Intensive Lifestyle Intervention (ILI) and the other in a control group consisting of diabetes support and education. Data showed that participants in the ILI group who abstained from alcohol consumption over the four-year period lost more weight than those who drank any amount during the intervention. Results from the study also showed that heavy drinkers in the ILI group were less likely to have clinically significant weight loss over the four years.

Full story at Science Daily

The dangers of driving after restricted sleep and moderate alcohol intake

In a recent study, combining moderate alcohol consumption (within legal limits for driving) and moderate sleep restriction led to greater drowsiness and increased deficits in attention, compared with either sleep restriction or alcohol intake alone.

The synergistic effects lasted between 2 and 3 hours. Also, peak impairment occurred not at peak alcohol levels but 30 to 60 minutes after, despite receiving rest intervals in between testing.

Full story of alcohol intake and sleep at Science Daily

Wearable sensor helps people keep tabs on drinking

Electrical engineers are creating a wearable sensor to help people manage their alcohol intake.

Activity trackers monitor your steps; this innovative sensor measures your blood alcohol level. Worn like a watch, this sensor picks up vapors from the skin and sends the data to a server. If the alcohol reading is high, via an app, a designated loved one gets an alert to check in on the user. This easy-to-wear gadget will help address issues with social drinking and addiction.

“We wanted to create an unobtrusive sensor that would be easy to wear, and help people struggling with alcohol,” said the inventor, Shekhar Bhansali, an Alcatel Lucent professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “This is one step toward active intervention that only requires the user wear the sensor.”

Full story of wearable sensors to manage alcohol intake at Science Daily