Latest
Recommended
Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

A drink a day could be deadly, study finds

A drink a day could be deadly, study finds

The drop in life expectancy for a 40-year-old who drinks between 100 and 200 grams is six months, on average, compared with someone who drinks between zero and 100 grams, the study found.

"Overall, for a 40-year-old man, the estimated reduction in life expectancy is almost five years for alcohol consumption of more than 350g per week, for a 40-year-old woman it is around four years, compared to consumption of less than 100g per week".

"This study makes clear that on balance there are no health benefits from drinking alcohol, which is usually the case when things sound too good to be true", said Tim Chico, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Sheffield, who was not involved in the research.

The global team analysed data on almost 600,000 drinkers aged 30-100, from 83 studies in 19 high-income countries. For example, having 10 or more drinks per week was linked with one to two years shorter life expectancy.

Drinking 10 or more drinks every week was linked to one to two years shorter life expectancy. 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.

Excess alcohol consumptions can lead to a high risk of a range of life-threatening illnesses, including stroke and heart failure.

The researchers found those drinking more than five 175ml glasses of wine or pints of beer each week were at greater risk of stroke, heart failure and fatal aneurysm. It does reduce the chance of a non-fatal heart attack.

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. "The experiment showed that there is no benefit even from small doses of alcohol", said the study authors.

The study "is a serious wake-up call for many countries", Jeremy Pearson of the British Heart Foundation said in a statement.

The study, which looked at data from 600,000 people in 19 countries, supported the UK's low safe-drinking limits. The CDC says more than 38 million American adults admit to binge-drinking once a week and guzzle an average of eight drinks per spree.

Drinking even moderate amounts of alcohol will shave years off your life, according to an extensive worldwide study that shows Australian guidelines are far too lax. In countries like Italy, Spain, or the United States, the recommended limit is now nearly double that in the UK (equating to up to two lost years of life). They also noted that the study was not able to account for people who reduced their alcohol consumption due to health complications.

The researchers noted that the study tracked people's alcohol consumption for at least a year but did not examine the effect of alcohol consumption over a person's entire lifetime.

Of course, Victoria Taylor has a good point, saying that we should consider the guidelines as a limit, not a target!

Like this: