Just five alcoholic drinks a week could shorten your life, study says

The more people drank, the higher the risk of a range of life threatening illnesses, including stroke and heart failure.

The report therefore concluded that the recommended weekly limit for consumption be standardised across different countries at that level for both men and women.

Australia guidelines say that 14 standard drinks or seven pints of beer or around nine glasses of wine per week is safe.

Connor said from a theoretical point of view the only safe limit was zero. Mathematical calculations have shown that a 40 year old man who takes around 10 to 20 standard drinks per week shortens his life expectancy by six months. The risk of a stroke was 14 percent higher; heart failure 9 percent, and the risk of a fatal aortic aneurysm rose by 15 percent.

"This study makes it clear that alcohol leads to many other diseases which, in total, increase the risk of death".

Where did the story come from?

Several Australian studies were part of this collaboration, contributing to the research and making the findings relevant to Australians. He told The Guardian that previous evidence shows it is likely that people drinking a lot more than 43 units are likely to lose even more life expectancy, and he would not be surprised if the heaviest drinkers lost as many years of life as a smoker.

The risk starts rising with as little as one drink a day on average. There's also no agreed classification for the size of a glass of wine.

Dr Dan G Blazer, co-author, at Duke University in the United States, says doctors and other healthcare professionals must transmit this message to their patients.

What kind of research was this?

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The study "is a serious wake-up call for many countries", Jeremy Pearson of the British Heart Foundation said in a statement. The new study confirmed an association between drinking and cancers of the digestive system.

A spokesman for the Portman Group, the social responsibility body for alcohol producers in the United Kingdom, said: "Official statistics show that the vast majority (76%) chose not to drink or drink within guidelines, which are among the lowest in Europe". Spiegelhalter was not involved in the research.

Beer drinking at the Oktoberfest Festival, September, 2014.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

"The key message of this research is that, if you already drink alcohol, drinking less may help you live longer and lower your risk of several cardiovascular conditions", said Angela Wood from the University of Cambridge in the UK.

They said their detailed analysis of cardiovascular conditions helped to explain the complex links between drinking alcohol and cardiovascular disease, which increased risk of conditions mainly caused by high blood pressure but slightly decreased risks of heart attacks - possibly because of links between alcohol and cholesterol.

The study's recommendations are significantly less than what many countries recommend as an alcohol consumption limit.

'This is a massive and very impressive study.

We've all heard about how drinking a glass of red wine with dinner can be beneficial to heart health.

Recommended limits for safe alcohol consumption are too high in many developed countries and should be lowered to save lives, a study suggested Friday.

  • Myrtle Hill