Published: Fri, August 24, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

There Is No 'Safe' Level of Alcohol Consumption

There Is No 'Safe' Level of Alcohol Consumption

Some scientists are now saying none.

The research, published Friday in the medical journal The Lancet, found that drinking was the leading factor in deaths of people between the ages of 15 and 49.

"This study is a stark reminder of the real, and potentially lethal, dangers that too much alcohol can have on our health and that even the lowest levels of alcohol intake increase our risks", Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in the United Kingdom, said in a statement.

They also included an analysis of 23 health outcomes associated with alcohol use, including cardiovascular disease; certain cancers; noncommunicable diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol use disorders and pancreatitis, communicable disease such as tuberculosis, intentional and unintentional injuries and transportation-related injuries.

According to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington women here come seventh in the world for the amount they drink every day.

Drinking patterns vary globally.

"The level of consumption that minimises health loss due to alcohol use is zero", the authors wrote. "Our results indicate that alcohol use and its harmful effects on health could become a growing challenge as countries become more developed, and enacting or maintaining strong alcohol control policies will be vital". "The myth that one or two drinks a day are good for you is just that - a myth". Drinking five drinks a day increased the statistic to 37 per cent.

The countries with the highest percentage of men and women who reported drinking in the previous year were Denmark, Norway and Germany.

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"Come to think of it", he notes, "there is no safe level of living, but nobody would recommend abstention". He is a researcher at the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, in Seattle. The authors of the study, which looks at data on 28 million people worldwide, determined that considering the risks, there is "no safe level of alcohol".

The Global Burden of Disease study reveals that although moderate drinking may protect from specific diseases - particularly ischaemic heart disease and diabetes - the positive effect is completely offset "by the risks associated with cancers, which increased monotonically with consumption".

"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".

The study analyzed information from almost 700 previous studies to estimate how common drinking alcohol is worldwide; and examined close to another 600 studies including a total of 28 million people to investigate the health risks tied to alcohol.

According to the scientists, the impact on overall health from alcohol consumption can be great.

"If you're drinking because you are in a group where you are having one or two bottles of wine in a social setting it's hard to say "I might have a problem", because others will then say "if you have one, I must do too" and it's hard to talk about that".

For people over the age of 50, cancers were the leading cause of alcohol-related deaths.

Furthermore, what the study and its attendant press release have not made entirely clear is just what the base or absolute risk was in the first place.

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