Articles Posted in Health

The Boston Globe has an interesting article on security at the Comcast Center in Mansfield and the use of alcohol and drugs at concerts at the venue. Two men died at a show there in July. The article suggests that the issues at Comcast reflect a broader cultural problem and that the arena’s security staff has worked well with the local police force to try to mitigate the effects of reckless behavior.

WWLP.com reports that Senator Robert Hedlund, a Republican from Hingham, is backing away from his Senate-passed casino amendment that proposes to return Happy Hour to Massachusetts. Instead, he’s suggesting that the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission review its regulations on bars and restaurants and propose revisions.

Hedlund said the six-member casino bill conference committee tasked with consolidating the House and Senate versions of the expanded gaming bill can certainly make changes to his amendment.

The Hingham Republican’s change of tone comes after facing criticism from the public for supporting stronger drunk driving penalties and also discounted drinks in bars and restaurants.

Women who drink 15 grams or less of alcohol a day (the equivalent of one drink of any alcoholic beverage) at midlife may be healthier when older than women who do not drink at all, who consume more than two drinks a day, or who consume four drinks or more at the one time.

A study led by Qi Sun from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and published in this week’s PLoS Medicine, suggests that in women, regular, moderate alcohol consumption during middle age (average age 58 years) is related to good overall health–that is, having no major chronic diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes, and no major cognitive and physical impairment, or mental health limitations–in those who live to 70 years and beyond. The authors define this good overall health as “successful ageing.”

The authors used information from periodic food frequency questionnaires given to the 121,700 female nurses enrolled in the US Nurses’ Health Study (which began in 1976) to assess the alcohol consumption of the nurses during middle age. The authors then included in their analysis the vast majority (98.1%) of participants who were not heavier drinkers (45 g/d) when middle-aged and examined the health status in the 13,984 women who lived to 70 years and over.

Alcohol-related visits to local emergency rooms spike whenever Boston teams win championships and have parades, but effective public-safety oversight means we don’t experience the same sort of “horrendous” violence that other cities experience when they win, the Boston Public Health Commission reports.

The commission says it compiled ER stats from Boston championship runs dating back to 2004, and including this year’s Bruins’ championship:

The Bruins’ victory parade on June 18 generated the most alcohol-related hospital visits with 46, followed by 45 during the 2008 victory parade after the Celtics won the NBA championship. The 2007 parade after the Sox won the World Series generated the fewest alcohol-related ER visits with 20.

Two new studies find a drink or two a day may cut disease risk and boost ‘good’ cholesterol.

Moderate alcohol consumption may help protect against heart disease, according to two new papers by Canadian researchers.

One team at the University of Calgary reviewed 84 studies that examined alcohol consumption and heart disease, and concluded that people who drink alcohol in moderation (one drink or less per day) are 14 percent to 25 percent less likely to develop heart disease as those who don’t drink alcohol.

The Patriot Ledger reports that the Norwell police department has gotten all but two of the liquor license holders in town to agree to participate in its new designated driver program, which it hopes to launch before Thanksgiving.

Officer Tim O’Brien, who has spearheaded the effort, told the Ledger that nine of Norwell’s bars and restaurants have joined the program and will offer free non-alcoholic beverages to people who volunteer to be a group’s designated driver. “If someone designates themselves as the driver, they can’t have even a beer or a glass of wine,” O’Brien said.

Hingham police have run such a program for the last eight years and built up a 100 percent participation rate.

Bloomberg reported this week on a recent UK study showing that those who drink alcohol on more than 10 days a month reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and its painful effects.

Non-drinkers were four times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than people who drank alcohol on more than 10 days a month, according to the research published online today by the U.K. journal Rheumatology. Arthritis patients who drank regularly had less severe symptoms than non-drinkers, the study found.

Chalk this up to yet another reason why alcohol, in moderation, and consumed responsibly, can be advantageous to your health.