To stay healthy, avoid alcoholic drinks - including red wine

To stay healthy, avoid alcoholic drinks - including red wine

The researchers from the University of Washington say alcohol leads to 2.8 million deaths a year, and it is the leading risk factor for premature mortality and disability in the 15 to 49 age group, accounting for a whopping 20% of deaths.

Drinking limits were cut in 2016 for men from 21 units to 14 units a week - bringing them in line with the guidelines for women. For those who consume five small glasses of wine a day, 1,252 people in 100,000 a year suffer health problems - 37 per cent more than among teetotallers. They found that the modest improvements in heart health associated with light drinking are more than offset by the increased risk of other conditions including breast cancer and cancer of the larynx, as well as violence and vehicle accidents. That number is equivalent to 2.2% of all female deaths and 6.8% of all male deaths that year, according to the study. Drinking alcohol was also a leading cause of cancer for people older than 50.

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.

Any protection against heart disease, stroke and diabetes offered by alcohol turned out to be "not statistically significant", said the researchers.

'Presumably people who choose to drink alcohol moderately get some pleasure from it, and any risk needs to be traded off against this enjoyment, ' he said.

An average of two drinks per day, for example, translated into a 7.0 percent hike in disease and injury compared to those who opt for abstinence.

One third of the world, that is 2.4 billion people, drinks alcohol.

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"The conclusions of the study are clear and unambiguous: alcohol is a colossal global health issue", said study author Robyn Burton in The Lancet, a medical journal, going on to suggest that alcohol should be taxed more heavily and not advertised to children.

The researchers calculated that people who have one standard drink (10 grams of pure alcohol) a day have a 0.5 percent higher risk of one of 23 alcohol-related health problems than teetotalers. "The solutions are straightforward: Increasing taxation creates income for hard-pressed health ministries, and reducing the exposure of children to alcohol marketing has no downsides".

"The evidence is adding up that no amount of drinking is safe", says study co-author Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor of global health and health metrics sciences at the University of Washington.

Researchers used data from 694 studies to estimate worldwide alcohol drinking habits and used 592 studies encompassing 28 million people to study the health risks associated with alcohol between 1990 to 2016 in 195 countries.

"Based on these findings", Bell said, "at no there a level of consumption that appears to lower the overall risk of developing any of the wide array of diseases investigated in comparison to non-drinking".

The heaviest drinkers: Countries were the most alcohol is consumed per person.

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