When It Comes to Alcohol, Nothing You Drink is Good For Health

Ebony Scott
August 25, 2018

The combined health risks associated with alcohol outweigh any possible benefits, said the University of Washington's Max Griswold, an author of the analysis, in a statement.

How often a week do you drink?

"But the evidence is the evidence". The US ranked fifth among men and seventh among women on that list; the United Kingdom ranked 21st for men and ninth for women. She was not involved in the study.

"Come to think of it", he notes, "there is no safe level of living, but nobody would recommend abstention". The recommendations need to come down further and the government needs to rethink its policy.

The study, published Thursday in the journal Lancet, is one of the most comprehensive looks at the global burden of disease stemming from alcohol, with data on 28 million people from across 195 countries over a period of a quarter of a century.

Drinking patterns varied globally. It's even higher in Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Researchers calculated that alcohol revenue would decline by two-fifths, or £13bn (€14.4bn), if all drinkers were to comply with the recommended consumption limits. But given the risk of alcohol-related health problems, the authors concluded the protective effect of alcohol was offset by the risks associated with its consumption. But he says that "if low-level drinking has some benefit to your life; it enhances your social life and facilitates overall wellbeing, then for some people this may be more important than prolonging your life by every possible means".

The researchers found that, globally, about one in three people (32.5 percent) drink alcohol, which is equivalent to 2.4 billion people worldwide, including 25 percent of women and 39 percent of men.

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Two drinks per day increased the chances of disease and injury by 7 percent, the researchers wrote.

Denmark had the highest proportion of alcohol consumers, 95.3 per cent of women and 97.3 per cent of men, and Pakistan and Bangladesh the lowest.

The top 10 heaviest-drinking countries are all in Europe, with Romania leading the pack at an average 8.2 daily drinks among all men, and an astounding 12 drinks per day among men ages 45 to 59. They were responsible for 27.1 per cent of alcohol-related deaths of women and 18.9 per cent of men. For those older than 50, the leading alcohol-related cause of death was cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, alcohol, though not totally risk-free, can reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes and having a strike. That might be true in isolation, Gakidou said, but the picture changes when all risks are considered.

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.

With five "units" of alcohol per day, the likelihood of serious consequences jumps by 37 percent.

Although it claims in absolute terms that there is no safe level of drinking connected with alcohol, what it fails to acknowledge is that, actually, the risks of moderate drinking are in fact very low.

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