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For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Alcohol Intake and Cigarette Smoking and Risk of a Contralateral Breast Cancer
American Journal of Epidemiology Advance Access published online on February 11, 2009

Women with primary breast cancer are at increased risk of developing second primary breast cancer. Few studies have evaluated risk factors for the development of asynchronous contralateral breast cancer in women with breast cancer.

In the Women's Environmental Cancer and Radiation Epidemiology Study (1985–2001), the roles of alcohol and smoking were examined in 708 women with asynchronous contralateral breast cancer (cases) compared with 1,399 women with unilateral breast cancer (controls).
Ever regular drinking was associated with an increased risk of asynchronous contralateral breast cancer (rate ratio = 1.3, 95% confidence interval: 1.0, 1.6), and the risk increased with increasing duration (P = 0.03). Smoking was not related to asynchronous contralateral breast cancer.

In this, the largest study of asynchronous contralateral breast cancer to date, alcohol is a risk factor for the disease, as it is for a first primary breast cancer.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sequence Variations of the Human MPDZ Gene and Association With Alcoholism in Subjects With European Ancestry
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Published Online: 28 Jan 2009
Mpdz gene variations are known contributors of acute alcohol withdrawal severity and seizures in mice.
Sixty-seven new, mostly rare variants were discovered in the human MPDZ gene. Sequence comparison revealed that the human gene does not have variations identical to those comprising Mpdz gene haplotype associated with AWS in mice. We also found no significant association between MPDZ haplotypes and AWS in humans. However, a global test of haplotype association revealed a significant difference in haplotype frequencies between alcohol-dependent subjects without AWS and Coriell controls (p = 0.015), suggesting a potential role of MPDZ in alcoholism and/or related phenotypes other than AWS. Haplotype-specific tests for the most common haplotypes (frequency > 0.05), revealed a specific high-risk haplotype (p = 0.006, maximum statistic p = 0.051), containing rs13297480G allele also found to be significantly more prevalent in alcoholics without AWS compared with nonalcoholic Coriell subjects (p = 0.019).
Sequencing of MPDZ gene in individuals with EA ancestry revealed no variations in the sites identical to those associated with AWS in mice. Exploratory haplotype and single SNP association analyses suggest a possible association between the MPDZ gene and alcohol dependence but not AWS.
Further functional genomic analysis of MPDZ variants and investigation of their association with a broader array of alcoholism-related phenotypes could reveal additional genetic markers of alcoholism.
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Media coverage of celebrity DUIs: teachable moments or problematic social modeling?
Alcohol and Alcoholism Advance Access published online on0 on February 16, 2009

Alcohol in the media influences norms around use, particularly for young people. A recent spate of celebrity arrests for drinking and driving (DUI) has received considerable media attention. We asked whether these newsworthy events serve as teachable moments or problematic social modeling for young women. .

Stories were brief, episodic and focused around glamorous celebrity images. They included routine discussion of the consequences of the DUI for the individual celebrities without much evidence of a consideration of the public health dimensions of drinking and driving or possible prevention measures.

Our analysis found little material in the media coverage that dealt with preventing injury or promoting individual and collective responsibility for ensuring such protection. Media attention to such newsworthy events is a missed opportunity that can and should be addressed through media advocacy efforts.

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Alcohol, Gestation and Breastfeeding: Selenium as an Antioxidant Therapy
Alcohol and Alcoholism Advance Access published online on February 12, 2009

The aim of this paper is to study the relationship between alcohol, selenium and oxidative stress in breastfeeding rat pups exposed to ethanol during gestation and lactation. We have also studied how a Se-supplemented diet among mothers could prevent different oxidative liver disorders in the pups.

In the liver of pups, exposure to ethanol provoked a decrease in selenium and GPx activity and an increase in GR and CAT activity, as well as in carbonyl groups in protein. A pups had higher Se levels and GPx activity in serum than C pups. Administering Se with alcohol balances the activities of scavenging enzymes and reduces peroxidation protein products.

These results suggest that selenium could be effective in neutralizing the damage of ethanol consumption during gestation and lactation in pups since it repairs selenium levels in liver as well as the activity of scavenging enzymes and peroxidation protein products. In serum, Se also recovers GPx activity and increases the levels of Se that are available to other organs.

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