Health Care

No alcohol safe to drink - global study confirms

No alcohol safe to drink - global study confirms”

'Presumably people who choose to drink alcohol moderately get some pleasure from it, and any risk needs to be traded off against this enjoyment, ' he said.

He said the research showed the links between drinking alcohol and the risk of cancer, injuries and infectious diseases are greater than the protective effects of alcohol linked to heart disease in women.

There is no safe level of alcohol, a new study concludes - upending previous guidance that low levels of consumption can be safe, and even beneficial to health.

Globally, around one in three people - or 2.4 billion - drink alcohol, said the researchers, whose findings are reported in The Lancet medical journal.

"Previous studies have found a protective effect of alcohol on some conditions, but we found that the combined health risks associated with alcohol increase with any amount of alcohol", said lead author Max Griswold of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

Even the smallest amount of alcohol is bad for your health, a new study has found.

The study used data from 694 studies to estimate how common drinking alcohol is worldwide, then used a further 592 studies to analyse the health risks associated with alcohol.

This being said, Irish men are also drinking to unsafe levels, consuming an average of 4.5 alcohol drinks daily.

"Alcohol is a colossal global health issue and small reductions in health-related harms at low levels of alcohol intake are outweighed by the increased risk of other health-related harms, including cancer", wrote Dr Robyn Burton of King's College London, in a commentary.

Aveek Bhattacharya, policy analyst at the IAS and the lead author of the paper, said: "Alcohol causes 24,000 deaths and over 1.1 million hospital admissions each year in England, at a cost of £3.5bn to the NHS". "Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none", it states.

Drinking is the number one global cause of death for people aged 15 to 49 because of its contribution to 23 serious illnesses.

Above the two-drink level, the risks start to rise rapidly.

Humphreys called the work the "most sophisticated global study of the impact of alcohol on human health ever conducted".

Any protection against heart disease, stroke and diabetes offered by alcohol turned out to be "not statistically significant", said the researchers.

Drinking patterns varied globally with the highest number of current alcohol drinkers in Denmark - 95.3 per cent of women, and 97.1 per cent of men - while New Zealand had the fifth highest prevalence of female drinkers at 88 per cent. Kiwi men didn't feature in the top 10.

Each year, 2.2 per cent of women and 6.8 per cent of men die from alcohol-related health problems including cancer, tuberculosis and liver disease.

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