No safe level of alcohol, a study confirms.
There is no such thing as a healthy glass of wine a day.
A large new global study published in the Lancet has confirmed there is no safe level of alcohol consumption.
Researchers admit moderate drinking may protect against heart disease but found that the risk of cancer and other diseases outweighs these protections.
Findings were the most significant to date because of the range of factors considered.
Global Burden of Disease study looked at levels of alcohol and its health effects in 195 countries between 1990 and 2016.
Study involved 15 to 95 year-olds and compared people who did not drink at all with those who did.
Out of 100,000 non-drinkers, 914 would develop a health problem such as cancer or suffer an injury.
An extra 4 people develop a health condition a year if they drank one alcoholic drink a day.
With People that had two drinks a day 63 more developed a condition within a year.
With five drinks every day there was an increase of 338 people who developed a condition.
Study author commented “One drink a day does represent a small increased risk, but adjust that to the UK population as a whole and it represents a far bigger number, and most people are not drinking just one drink a day.”
“Previous studies have found a protective effect of alcohol on some conditions, but we found that the combined health risks associated with alcohol increases with any amount of alcohol.”
“The strong association between alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer, injuries, and infectious diseases offset the protective effects for heart disease in our study.”
“Although the health risks associated with alcohol start off being small with one drink a day, they then rise rapidly as people drink more.”
UK government cut maximum alcohol recommendations in 2016 to 14 units a week. That’s 6 pints of beer or 7 glasses of wine.
It was noted then that any amount of alcohol could increase the risk of cancer.
This is regarded as the most important study ever conducted on the subject.
A drink was defined as 10g of alcohol – about one glass of wine or a bottle of beer.
However there are some criticisms of the study and its outcome.
“Claiming there is no ‘safe’ level does not seem an argument for abstention. There is no safe level of driving, but the Government do not recommend that people avoid driving.” ~ David Spiegelhalter professor for the public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge
Countries with heaviest male drinkers (drinks per day):
1. Romania (8.2), 2. Portugal (7.3), 3. Luxembourg (7.3), 4. Lithuania (7), 5. Ukraine (7) , 6. Bosnia & Herzegovina (6.5), 7. Belarus (6), 8. Estonia (6), 9. Spain (5.8), 10. Hungary (5.5), 20. Australia (4.8), 49. United States (3.2), 62. United Kingdom (3)
Countries with heaviest female drinkers (drinks per day):
1. Ukraine (4.2), 2. Andorra (3.4), 3. Luxembourg (3.4), 4. Belarus (3.4), 5. Sweden (3.2), 6. Denmark (3.2), 7. Ireland (3.1), 8. United Kingdom (3), 9. Germany (2.9), 10. Switzerland (2.8), 34. Australia (2.1), 47. US (1.9)
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