Health Care

Consuming more than five drinks a week could shorten your life

Consuming more than five drinks a week could shorten your life

Those having ten or more drinks, roughly two bottles of wine, had their life expectancy slashed by up to two years, while those drinking 18 or more alcoholic beverages a week can expect to live five years less.

A sweeping worldwide study of alcohol consumption has found no overall health benefits from moderate drinking and calls into question the U.S. guidelines that say men can safely drink twice as much as women.

The study, led by Dr. Angela Wood of the University of Cambridge, analyzed about 600,000 drinkers around the world.

The new report, published Thursday in The Lancet and boasting 120 co-authors, aggregated data from multiple studies of drinking patterns and health outcomes among almost 600,000 people in 19 high-income countries.

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, a standard drink in the USA is a 12 fl oz. can of regular (5 percent alcohol) beer, a 5 fl oz. glass of 12 percent wine or a 1.5 fl oz. shot of a 40 percent distilled spirit like vodka or whiskey.

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Recommended limits for safe alcohol consumption are too high in many developed countries and should be lowered to save lives, a study suggested Friday.

Wood said, "Drinking more may reduce the risk of nonfatal heart attack, but actually, let's balance that against the higher risk of stroke and other fatal cardiovascular diseases and shorter life expectancy". This equates to around six pints of beer or six glasses of wine a week.

If to speak about a modest amount of alcohol, doctors say that it increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. However, risk of non-fatal heart attacks dipped with more alcohol.

Very light drinking seemed to have a small protective effect against non-fatal heart attacks. However, the study used self-reported alcohol consumption and relied on observational data, so no firm conclusions can me made about cause and effect. The Cambridge study tried to assess how useful such guidelines really are based on the science behind them, and where the true bright line might be when it comes to figuring out relatively safe drinking limits.

People who follow government guidelines to have a drink or so a day could be drinking themselves into an early grave, researchers said Thursday.

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It goes on to say "depending on how much you drink, alcohol can be linked to both chronic and acute alcohol-related harms". For men, the recommended maximum is three per day.

"Secondly, there has been a fiction, used by the alcohol industry to maintain nearly unrestrained advertising for its products, that small quantities of alcohol are beneficial, even healthy (reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease)".

The study uses self-reported alcohol consumption across 19 high-income countries. The Lancet study, however, found no evidence to support different guidelines for women and men.

Drinking even moderate amounts of alcohol will shave years off your life, according to an extensive global study that shows Australian guidelines are far too lax.

However other countries reportedly still have much higher limits than the UK.

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But there is a benefit to drinking alcohol.