There is 'no safe level of alcohol,' says huge new global study

Globally one in three people drink alcohol – equivalent to 2.4 billion people

YUTACAR Globally one in three people drink alcohol – equivalent to 2.4 billion people

According to the research, alcohol led to 2.8 million deaths in 2016.

Among people 50 and older, cancer was a leading cause of alcohol-related death, accounting for 27 percent of deaths in women and almost 19 percent of deaths in men.

The scientists pooled together data from 592 studies with a total of 28 million participants to assess the global health risks associated with alcohol.

The team used a new statistical method to estimate the risks of consuming between zero and 15 standard alcohol drinks each day. That means about 2 percent of women and 7 percent of men will die every year from alcohol-related health problems, the study said. A drink is 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer that contains 5 percent alcohol or one shot of liquor, though many mixed drinks contain more than one shot and some craft beers contain higher levels of alcohol.

The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Agriculture, suggests women have no more than one drink daily and men have no more than two. Among other conclusions, researchers found that drinking one alcoholic drink a day increases the risk of developing an alcohol-related health problem by 0.5 percent within a year compared to not drinking at all.

Officially, Indians are still among the world's lowest consumers of alcohol with more than 60 per cent adults completely abstaining from it, Dr Chaturvedi said, quoting national household surveys.

How many people are drinking?

When accounting for relative risk of drinking, researchers found that any alcohol consumption increased these risk factors and emphasized that the safest amount of alcohol is no alcohol.

According to the study, 2.4 billion people around the world consume alcohol on a regular basis, including 1.5 billion males and 0.9 billion females.

Researchers analyzed the impact of alcohol on 23 health conditions and alcohol-related risks on people between the ages of 15 and approximately 95 for the year 2016.

The deaths included alcohol-related cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, intentional injuries such as violence and self-harm, traffic collisions and unintentional injuries like drowning and fires.

Protective effects were found for ischaemic heart disease and diabetes in women, but weren't enough to overrule the overall health risk of alcohol.

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

This being said, Irish men are also drinking to risky levels, consuming an average of 4.5 alcohol drinks daily.

As the base rate of risk was less than 1%, even drinking five drinks a day the risk only rose to 1.4%, that's not to encourage that level of drinking but it is important to qualify the risks suggested by the paper.

The study found that moderate drinking was, in fact, protective against ischemic heart disease.

"There are many seemingly benign things in life that statistically increase the risk of death, such as driving, swimming at the beach, etc".

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