Drinking more alcohol linked to lower life expectancy, research finds


Drinking more alcohol linked to lower life expectancy, research finds

The study found that on average, drinking the equivalent of 10 pints of beer or glasses of wine each week was linked with one to two years shorter life expectancy.

What it revealed was troubling: The people who drank more than 100 grams of alcohol a week had shorter lifespans than those who drank less than that.

People who reported drinking more had higher rates of stroke, heart disease, deadly high blood pressure and fatal aortic aneurysms, the team reported in the Lancet medical journal.

The findings support recently lowered guidelines in the United Kingdom, which recommend that both men and women should not drink more than 14 units or 112g of pure alcohol in a week.

Scientists analysed almost 600,000 drinkers in 19 countries, and calculated how much their life would be reduced if they drank the same amount for the rest of their lives from the age of 40.

While the study also found alcohol consumption was linked to a lower risk of non-fatal heart attacks, experts said "on balance" there are no health benefits from drinking. However, drinking above this limit was linked with lower life expectancy.

In Canada, it's recommended women drink a maximum of two glasses of beer or wine per day.

Alcohol consumption was found to be associated with a lower risk of non-fatal heart attacks but researchers point out that this must be weighed against increased risk of potentially fatal heart disease. However, the study used self-reported alcohol consumption and relied on observational data, so no firm conclusions can me made about cause and effect.

'We have 40 years of research, which shows light to moderate drinking equals improved cognitive function and memory in ageing as well as reduced chance of vascular dementia, ' said James Calder from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

The research contradicts other commonly held notions that drinking in moderation is good for your heart.

British scientists from Sheffield University, have conducted experiments with different number of shots and find out how much you can drink men and women, without fear for health.

In fact, an worldwide study by the Lancet medical journal found that drinking alcohol multiple times a week may shorten your lifespan.

Jake Najman, Emeritus Professor from the Queensland Alcohol and Drug Research and Education Centre (QADREC) at The University of Queensland, says the study suggests even modest quantities of alcohol increase the risk of earlier death.

For the new study, the researchers analyzed information from 599,912 people in high-income countries who drank alcohol but did not have heart disease at the study's start.

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

Co-author, Professor Naveed Sattar of the University of Glasgow, said: "This study provides clear evidence to support lowering the recommended limits of alcohol consumption in many countries around the world".

The researchers noted that the study tracked people's alcohol consumption for at least a year but did not examine the effect of alcohol consumption over a person's entire lifetime.

He said the key is for people to limit how much alcohol they consume.

But there is a benefit to drinking alcohol.



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