Want to Live Longer? Study Proves You Must Drink Less Alcohol

Drinking alcohol linked to lower life expectancy

Anything more than six glasses is associated with a higher risk of stroke, coronary disease, heart failure and hypertension, according to the study.

"The key message of this research for public health is that, if you already drink alcohol, drinking less may help you live longer and lower your risk of several cardiovascular conditions", Wood said in a statement.

The study, which was on Friday, was based on the health data of almost 600 thousand alcohol drinkers from 19 countries.

The maximum safe limit was nearly 5 drinks per week - that meant 100g of pure alcohol, or 5 pints of 4% ABV beer, or five glasses of 13% ABV wine that measures 175ml each. The researchers estimated that reducing long-term drinking from the two-drink a day limit suggested by the United States government, to less than one a day, was associated with a one- to two-year boost in life expectancy in men.

Drinking 10 or more drinks every week was linked to one to two years shorter life expectancy.

Recommended alcohol limits in Italy, Portugal and Spain are nearly 50 per cent higher than the 100 grams per week limit, and in the US, the upper limit for men is near 196 grams per week or 11 glasses and 98 grams per week for women.

The team also explored links between how much alcohol people consumed and their risk of different types of cardiovascular disease. Those in the study who drank a lot more than that had significantly higher risks of dying from any cause, including heart disease, but even going from one daily drink to two raised heart disease and mortality risks significantly.

The study doesn't take into account the possibility of accompanying mental disorders, such as dementia, which could explain why people reduced their alcohol consumption over the follow-up period.

A 40-year-old drinking half a dozen 6 ounce glasses of wine a week is considered a safe limit, researchers said.

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In many other countries, the guidelines for "safe" drinking are up to double the actual safe level, the researchers said.

"This study completely overlooks the well-documented health benefits light to moderate enjoyment of alcohol brings", said James Calder, head of communications for the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

Researchers studying alcohol consumption and mortality have advised countries like the US slash their drinking guidelines.

The study was wide-ranging, involving 120 co-authors and close to 600,000 participants in 83 surveys from 19-high income countries.

"We should always remember that alcohol guidelines should act as a limit, not a target".

The study's likely to be controversial, said Jason Connor and Wayne Hall of the University of Queensland Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research in Australia.

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.

While most Canadians drink alcohol in moderation, the government estimates four to five million of them engage in high risk drinking.

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