Just one drink a day ‘can increase risk of premature death’

A new comprehensive global study on drinking alcohol suggests there is no safe level of drinking

Alcohol was the biggest risk factor for premature death in 15- to 49-year-olds, accounting for 3.8 per cent of deaths in women and 12.2 per cent in men, according to the study reported in The Lancet. Alcohol has a complex association with health, affecting it in multiple ways.

The danger is that if people believe even a low amount of alcohol is a risk, it will lead problem drinkers to consume more because they reason that they will be harmed anyway.

Just a single drink a day can raise the risk of 23 alcohol-related health issues by 0.5 per cent - compared with abstaining, a global study finds.

Overall, alcohol is linked to 2.8 million deaths each year worldwide, the study found.

Rather, the findings apply more to people who have one drink a day, most days of the week, Humphreys said. The risk climbed to 37 percent with five drinks.

Alcohol consumption is injurious to health!

But the authors of the new study insist that any benefits from drinking alcohol are outweighed by the harms.

Other harmful consequences from drinking alcohol included accidents and violence.

Other experts have recently come to similar conclusions.

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However, researchers are saying that to actually be truly healthy, going teetotal is the only way.

Governments should act to discourage drinking, they recommended. Contrary to what some previous studies have found, "the kind of person who drinks every week, but never drinks much, is in fact not better off than somebody who doesn't drink", according to the new study, Humphreys told Live Science. "Anywhere alcohol touches the body is a potential site for cancer later on in your life", Griswold bleakly points out.

"This study is extremely important because it sheds light on the unsafe impact of alcohol - which is greatly minimized in our culture", said Joseph Garbely, vice president of medical services and medical director at Caron Treatment Centers. While there are small benefits to drinking moderately - like preventing heart attacks - all in all, the costs far outweigh them.

Any protection against heart disease, stroke and diabetes offered by alcohol turned out to be "not statistically significant", said the researchers. Drinking alcohol was also a leading cause of cancer for people older than 50.

"I think it comes down to a person by person basis". Instead, like many studies before it, the goal is to slowly wean the public off the idea that drinking can be good for you.

Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, agrees with that assessment.

Alcohol was found to protect only against ischemic heart disease - or hardening of the arteries - but the effect was described as small compared to the health risks from drinking.

Of the more than 2 billion people around the world consume alcohol, about 63 percent are men, the researchers wrote. "I'm not saying it's a awful idea", Humphreys said, but "it would be a very tough uphill battle to be established". This has led to the built-up of a social perception that drinking alcohol is okay.

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