Consuming more than five drinks a week could shorten your life
15 April, 2018, 01:29 | Author: Stuart Potter
"This is a serious wakeup call for many countries", said Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation charity, which helped fund the study, in a statement.
Notably, the heavier drinkers were less likely to have a heart attack.
The research, which analyzed data from almost 600,000 people in 19 countries, found that drinking more than 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of alcohol per week (the equivalent of about seven standard drinks in the United States) was linked to an increased risk of early death during the study period. The safe lower limit is 5 glasses per week. Meanwhile, 18 drinks or more per week was linked to four to five years shorter life expectancy.
The new study estimates that 40-year-old men who drink as much as current US guidelines suggest can expect to live one to two years less than men who have no more than seven drinks per week.
It concluded that alcohol consumption limits should be lower than most official guidelines around the world.
The guidelines recommend women over 21 drink no more than one drink per day, but this rises to two drinks for men.
Just think how easy it is to sink six pints of nice, cold lager on a hot summer's day, or to work your way through a few glasses of wine after a long day.
The United States government now advises no more than seven drinks a week for women and 14 for men.
A spokesman for the Portman Group, the social responsibility body for alcohol producers in the United Kingdom, said: "Official statistics show that the vast majority (76%) chose not to drink or drink within guidelines, which are among the lowest in Europe".
The study doesn't take into account the possibility of accompanying mental disorders, such as dementia, which could explain why people reduced their alcohol consumption over the follow-up period.
The National Health and Medical Research Council says the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol 2009 are now under review.
The amount of alcohol in a standard drink varies from country to country. The study in the Lancet medical journal found that people who consumed more than five glasses of wine or beer per week had a greater risk of death from stroke, coronary disease, heart failure, fatal high blood pressure and fatal ruptures of arteries in the chest.
People who follow government guidelines to have a drink or so a day could be drinking themselves into an early grave, researchers said Thursday.
Researchers also looked at the link between heart disease and alcohol intake.
Moderate alcohol consumption also poses health risks, according to a new global study.
Many people can drink far more than that in a single day. This means we have to be cautious when saying alcohol was the direct cause of the additional deaths, because other confounding factors may have affected the results.
A spokesman for industry body the Alcohol Information Partnership said: "This report confirms our view that moderate drinking does not pose a risk to most people".
Strikingly, the data did not show a significant difference between men and women in the amount of alcohol that can be consumed without a drop in life expectancy.
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