Health Care

Just one drink a day ‘can increase risk of premature death’

Just one drink a day ‘can increase risk of premature death’”

Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, agreed, saying in a statement, "While there may be a slight benefit to heart and circulatory health from modest drinking, many studies have shown that the overall health risks of drinking alcohol outweigh any benefits".

Low levels of alcohol consumption have previously been thought to be protective against heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions.

According to a new study by researchers studying the effects of alcohol, there's actually no safe amount of those tasty intoxicating beverages. However, as per this extensive study, "The safest level of drinking is none".

Professor Sonia Saxena from Imperial's School of Public Health is one of the authors on the paper.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Robyn Burton of King's College London calls the research "the most comprehensive estimate of the global burden of alcohol use to date".

The researchers reviewed data from 694 studies to figure out how common drinking was around the world.

For people who consume two drinks a day, the risk of developing one of the 23 alcohol-related health problems increases by 7 percent over one year; and for those who drink five drinks a day, the risks increases 37 percent over one year.

The Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction recommends people drink no more than two drinks a day, 10 per week for women and 15 per week for men. Although they didn't make the top 10, 85.3% of men and 81.3% of women in the United Kingdom said they had tippled in the previous 12 months. While there are small benefits to drinking moderately - like preventing heart attacks - all in all, the costs far outweigh them.

However, in terms of recommending abstinence from alcohol, Humphreys said that promoting such a message would be hard, in part because of the large number of people who current drink alcohol, and the influence of powerful industries in the alcohol market. In males, the prevalence was 20 per cent and deaths attributed to alcohol drinking was 4.7 per cent (2.9 lakh deaths). Women consume an average of 0.73 drinks per day, while men drink about 1.7 each day. Of them, 2.2 per cent of women and 6.8 per cent of men die of alcohol-related health problems each year, the study found.

The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland - which the Irish Whiskey Association is a part of - believes that moderate alcohol consumption can be part of a balanced lifestyle.

Regular alcohol consumption can have negative impacts on the body's organs and tissues, while binge drinking can lead to injuries or alcohol poisoning. These include cardiovascular disease, different cancers, intentional and unintentional injuries, communicable diseases, and more.

Prof Saxena said the study was the most important study ever conducted on the subject.

The authors note some limitations, including that it is hard to estimate illicit alcohol production and unrecorded consumption so their results may not fully capture this.

Among people 50 and older, cancer was a leading cause of alcohol-related death, accounting for 27 percent of deaths in women and almost 19 percent of deaths in men.

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