Limit Alcohol to Just One Drink a Day, New Study Says

Lynn Cook
April 15, 2018

The research, which analyzed data from almost 600,000 people in 19 countries, found that drinking more than 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of alcohol per week (the equivalent of about seven standard drinks in the United States) was linked to an increased risk of early death during the study period.

The U.S. government recommends women drink no more than seven drinks a week and 14 for men.

In numerous individual studies included in the meta-analysis, the participants were asked only once about how much alcohol they drank - and people are notoriously bad at accurately reporting their drinking. The Australian guidelines suggest a full-strength can or stubby of 375 millilitres of beer or a restaurant serving of 150 millilitres of white wine is 1.4 standard drinks.

The study also looked at the likelihood of having a range of non-fatal, but potentially life-changing, cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks, heart failure and stroke.

A huge study of nearly 600,000 drinkers showed that people who drank more than 12.5 units (100g) of alcohol a week were likely to die sooner than those who drank no more than this amount.

The recommended limits in Italy, Portugal, and Spain are nearly 50% higher than this.

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"This doesn't mean we should rest on our laurels - many people in the United Kingdom regularly drink over what's recommended".

Overall, the public health message of the study is "if you already drink alcohol, drinking less may help you live longer and lower your risk of several cardiovascular conditions", Wood said.

On average, each unit of alcohol that exceeds the 100-gram limit slices off 15 minutes of a person's life - about the same as a cigarette, said David Spiegelhalter, a professor at the University of Cambridge, in a comment on the report.

It was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet on an open-access basis so is free to read online.

The research did not take into account the possibility of mental disorders such as dementia, which could accompany the other health problems drinkers incur.

It says 40-year-old men who consume 14 drinks a week could actually live one to two years less than men who have up to seven drinks.

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A new research conducted by the University of Cambridge, partly funded by the British Heart Foundation reveals that regular drinking of alcohol could shorten our life.

In many other countries, the guidelines for "safe" drinking are up to double the actual safe level, the researchers said.

The study suggests that if you are a 40-year-old regularly drinking between 200g and 350g of alcohol per week - about 10 to 18 glasses of wine or pints of beer - you will, according to the research lower your life expectancy by around one to two years.

This news isn't gonna go down well: A group of researchers has studied the drinking habits of 600,000 people to determine, once and for all, the "risk thresholds associated with the lowest risk of mortality". Alcohol drinking is linked to strokes, heart failure, and fatal aneurysm.

Very light drinking seemed to have a small protective effect against non-fatal heart attacks.

Although the pool of data was extensive, information about alcohol consumption was self-reported, so the study's findings are limited. During the following weeks volunteers each week used from 100 ml of alcohol.

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