Sunday, 12 July 2015

Drinking is not a risk factor for something

Zhu T, Ye X, Zhang T, Lin Z, Shi W, Wei X, Liu Y, He J. Association between alcohol consumption and multiple sclerosis: a meta-analysis of observational studies.Neurol Sci. 2015 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]

To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and multiple sclerosis risk, we performed a systematic literature search of PubMed, EmBase and Web of Science databases for all relevant articles regarding alcohol and multiple sclerosis. Our meta-analysis consisted of 10 studies, including nine case-controls and one cohort study. The odds ratios (OR) of the association between alcohol consumption and multiple sclerosis were 0.92 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.73-1.17] overall, 0.91 (95 % CI 0.39-2.41) for prospective study, and 0.92 (95 % CI 0.72-1.19) for retrospective studies. In addition, neither subgroup analyses nor sensitivity analyses showed a substantially change in the pooled OR and 95 % CI. Meta-analysis showed that there is no evidence that alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis. There may be a potential protective effect of alcohol consumption on MS incidence, however, this trend may not be obvious and should be validated by further research.

It makes a change to see a paper where they don't find a risk factor, but drinking does not appear to be a risk factor...some may say phew:-).

5 comments:

  1. 'It makes a change to see a paper where they don't find a risk factor, but drinking does not appear to be a risk factor...some may say phew:-).,
    Alas alcohol isn't good for my cognition or balance so I don't drink, except a glass of prosecco at Christmas or for someone's birthday. Unfortunate as it seems a small amount of wine helps with so many other potential health issues. I'm sticking to boring old green tea.

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    1. I am no longer an alcohol drinker since my MS diagnosis, not even a glass. Perhaps I am too cautious, I was never a big drinker anyway.

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  2. Alcohol may not be a risk factor in MS, but it can cause serious damage to the brain over time. And if you do develop MS, it is probably wise to stop doing things that are known to have such effects, e.g. binge drinking and scuba diving. And if you have to start taking heavy going drugs, even just strong painkillers, it's better to have a strong, healthy liver which hasn't had to deal with alcohol on a regular basis for many years.

    And what if everyone suddenly started drinking sensibly, or not at all, and all the money the NHS has to spend on the effects of alcohol were available for other things? Including treatment of MS?

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    1. Drunks going to A&E should the NHS be charging them... Yes.

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