No amount of alcohol is safe for your health, study finds

Nora Nguyen
August 25, 2018

The 0.5% increase means that 918 people in every 100,000 who drink one unit a day would develop a health problem compared with 914 who do not. The study has been the largest and the most detailed carried out to map the effects of alcohol.

No amount of alcohol is safe to consume, according to a large-scale global study of 28 million people in 195 countries.

The world's most comprehensive study on alcohol consumption suggests there is no safe level of drinking, with any known health benefits outweighed by the adverse effects alcohol has on the body.

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

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Alcohol use was ranked as the seventh leading risk factor for premature death and disability worldwide in 2016, and was the leading cause for people aged 15-49 years old. Although the study found that alcohol offered some protection against coronary-artery disease in women, "the strong association between alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer, injuries and infectious diseases" offset that. The authors also used updated and more robust statistical review models to analyze alcohol consumption and the health problems associated with it. "We advocate sensible drinking by those who choose to drink and support consistent, evidence-based advice, which enables people to make their own informed choices about alcohol".

Globally, one in three people (32.5 per cent) drink alcohol - equivalent to 2.4 billion people, including 25 per cent women (0.9 billion) and 39 per cent men (1.5 billion).

"However, studies have shown that India has a large number of heavy drinkers - more than 75 ml/day or nearly every day of the week".

Consumption of alcohol has been a big cause of cancer in the over-50, especially in women.

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Even the smallest amount of alcohol is bad for your health, a new study has found. In males, the prevalence was 20 per cent and deaths attributed to alcohol drinking was 4.7 per cent (2.9 lakh deaths). "There are risks and benefits, and I think it's important to have the best information about all of those and come to some personal decisions, and engage one's health care provider in that process as well".

Published this week in The Lancet, the study is one of the most significant to date, according to the researchers due to the breadth of its data.

Having one alcoholic drink a day, containing 10 grams of pure alcohol (an average 100ml glass of wine, half a pint of beer, or 30ml of spirits, for example) increases the risk of developing a range of illnesses including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory infections and pancreatitis compared to not drinking at all.

The study found that moderate drinking was, in fact, protective against ischemic heart disease. Alcohol is linked to over 20 negative and potentially deadly conditions including cancers, stroke, heart disease, and of course accidents (vehicular or otherwise) that tend to happen when people are drinking.

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Majority relied on self-reported information, which means people have to remember their drinking habits accurately, which means the data might be flawed or inaccurate, according to CBS.

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