April 26, 2018

Extra glass of wine, beer takes 30 minutes off your life

16 April 2018, 03:03 | Taylor George

Drinking more than five glasses of wine a week could knock years off life, study suggests


People who drank more than 100g of booze (five to six glasses of wine) per week increased their risk of stroke, fatal aneurysm, heart failure and early death, according to the study.

The proposed new limits - based on an analysis of data from almost 600,000 drinkers in 19 countries - are significantly lower than the HSE's current guidelines.

Researchers looked at 83 studies involving 600,000 people from 19 high-income countries, with nearly half of data coming from the UK.

Two years is one-twentieth of a 40-year-old's life. And for some folks that risky limit is less than one drink a day. And when you bump that number up to 18 drinks a week, you're looking at losing four to five years off your life. That's about the same risk as from a cigarette, David Spiegelhalter, Winton professor for the public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge, explained in a statement. "This works out at about an hour per day".

The UK reduced its guideline limit to a "low risk" 14 units for both sexes in 2016, equivalent to six 175ml glasses of wine, six pints of beer or cider, or 14 single gin and tonics.

The worldwide study, part-funded by the British Heart Foundation, also looked at the association between alcohol and different types of cardiovascular disease.

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'Of course it's up to individuals whether they think this is worthwhile'. The recommended upper limit for alcohol intake also exceeded seven drinks per week in countries like Italy, Portugal and Spain.

For these conditions, there were no clear risk thresholds below which lower alcohol consumption stopped being associated with lower disease risk.

"Alcohol consumption is associated with a slightly lower risk of nonfatal heart attacks, but this must be balanced against the higher risk associated with other serious-and potentially fatal- cardiovascular diseases", cautioned lead study author Angela Wood from the University of Cambridge.

'This is a massive and very impressive study.

We won't bore you with the math it takes to figure out how many units of alcohol are in your drink, but instead, provide this handy guide that shows that on average, a glass of red wine has two units of alcohol while white wine has three. All participants had been recruited between 1964 and 2010 with a minimum 12 month follow-up, and none had a known history of cardiovascular disease.

Scientists compared the health and drinking habits of alcohol drinkers in 19 countries, then calculated how much life a person could expect to lose if they drank the same way for the rest of their lives.

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