Drinking more than recommended limits can SLASH your life expectancy

Drinking more than recommended limits can SLASH your life expectancy

Half of the participants reported consuming more than 100g of alcohol a week and 8.4% drank more than 350g per week (the heavy drinkers).

A large new study has suggested that you are more at risk of dying or of a range of heart and circulatory conditions if you have as little as one alcoholic drink a day.

Even the most casual drinkers among us, including those following USA government recommendations, can see months and years taken away by steadily hitting the hooch, according to a new study by an global team of researchers.

The "safe" limit of drinking before the risk of death increased is around 12.5 alcohol units per week - the equivalent of around five pints of beer. The study's findings are in line with new recommendations for safe drinking in the United Kingdom, which recommend no more than six standard U.K. drinks a week for men and women.

This research recalibrates the concept of moderate drinking and gives a more complicated, nuanced interpretation of how alcohol affects cardiovascular health for better or worse. Spain, Portugal and Italy, the study states, have recommended limits almost 50% higher than the 100-gram threshold.

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'It's as if each unit above guidelines is taking, on average, 15 minutes of life - about the same as a cigarette, ' said David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge. No participants had a known history of cardiovascular disease, but scientists found alcohol intake was linked to a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, fatal high blood pressure disease and fatal aortic aneurysm. It also attempted to control for factors that might make the results misleading, such as having pre-existing heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, or smoking.

Therefore, the researchers remind, and warn that drinking alcohol can benefit the body, as many believe.

It was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet on an open-access basis so is free to read online.

"What it shows is that the amount of alcohol consumed affects the risk of dying", says Yeap.

In contrast to those findings, alcohol consumption was also linked with a slightly lower risk of nonfatal heart attack. The government's health website says that while most Canadians drink in moderation, it's estimated that four to five million of them engage in "high risk drinking, which is linked to motor vehicle accidents, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other health issues, family problems, crime and violence".

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It's official, everyone: We're drinking too much booze, and it's cutting us short of precious life.

Of the 599,912 people in the study, 40,310 died and 39,018 got cardiovascular disease during an average 7.5 years of follow-up.

The study may mean many Americans are reaching their weekly totals in one night.

This news isn't gonna go down well: A group of researchers has studied the drinking habits of 600,000 people to determine, once and for all, the "risk thresholds associated with the lowest risk of mortality".

"Evidence reviews on the health effects of alcohol consumption are now underway, which will help inform the recommendations in the revised guidelines", a spokesman says.

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