Publicador de contenidos

Back to 2023_03_30_MED_Proyecto_Consumo_Alcohol

Europe funds 2.5 million euros for a University project to study alcohol consumption

The project UNATI, led by Full Professor Martínez-González, will investigate its effects on people's health.


30 | 03 | 2023

The Europeancommittee of research (ERC Advanced Grants) has awarded the University of Navarra a subsidy of the most competitive call for European scientific funding. It involves funding of 2.5 million euros -the maximum possible- for the essay UNATI (University of Navarra Alumni Trialist Initiative), which will be carried out over the next five years and aims to provide evidence and advice to address alcohol consumption and its effects on people's health. 

This is the second time that Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Full Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Navarra, Full Professor attachment of Nutrition at Harvard University and director of group CIBEROBN of high school of Salud Carlos III, has achieved this financial aid as researcher principal.  

The essay UNATI will compare in 10,000 volunteers the long-term effects deadline of two different types of health advice on alcohol consumption to older people. No one doubts that, in Spain, alcohol is doing a lot of harm to young people, especially in the consumption of subject "botellón". But doubts arise in older people, especially if they follow a "prudent" drinking patron saint . This is the most relevant question of research.

Alcohol consumption in people over 50 years of age

There are currently two contradictory positions on the health advice to be given to people over 50 years of age who consume alcohol in moderation (between 1 and 3 drinks per day). Leading public health experts argue that the health Education for these people should lead them to a Mediterranean patron saint consumption, which minimizes the risks. But other voices, also very authoritative, defend that only total abstinence should be recommended. The reality is that there is a lack of scientific evidence to decide one way or the other. The essay UNATI will not only assess with the best evidence the effects of both alternatives, but also the acceptability and real compliance of each subject of committee. 

To carry out this essay, a network of professionals who apply preventive medicine in their usual clinical internship will be created. Thus, the group of research will be made up of research physicians, graduates of the University of Navarra, from different centers and cities in Spain. According to Martínez-González, "the design of this essay has aroused great interest because, in addition to answering very practical questions, it will apply new technologies and thus allow the burden of work for the research physicians to be minimized and not interfere in the clinical care of their patients".

ERC Advanced Grants are grants to support highly creative and innovative researchers in Europe to carry out new, cutting-edge research of high quality and interdisciplinary nature that addresses fundamental questions and challenges in any field of science, engineering and Humanities. 

Previously, in 2014-2019, Martinez-Gonzalez obtained this subsidy for another project from research of the ERC, PREDIMED-Plus, in which the goal was established to randomize 6,000 volunteers to per diem expenses, weight loss, and physical activity interventions. Ultimately, 6,874 participants were included in PREDIMED-Plus and the intermediate results were published in the journal JAMA in 2019. Several hundred physicians and other health professionals from all over Spain are listed in this publication as collaborating researchers in this great initiative that will soon reveal its final results.