Booze bad: No amount of alcohol is safe, health study warns
The report, published in The Lancet medical journal, claims to be the most comprehensive of its kind and goes against previous studies which have suggested a glass of red wine is equal to going to the gym, or that drinking alcohol makes you live longer.
While the researchers acknowledged that moderate alcohol use can help protect against heart disease and diabetes, they said the risks associated with drinking alcohol – such as cancer and other illnesses – far outweigh any benefits.
"The widely held view of the health benefits of alcohol needs revising," said the report, which called for national medical guidelines – that suggest drinking one or two glasses of wine or beer per day are safe – should be amended.
"Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none," say the study’s researchers at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle.
For the study, the team looked at alcohol use and its health effects in those aged between 15 and 95 across 195 countries between 1990 and 2016. Results showed that alcohol led to 2.8 million deaths in 2016 alone and was the leading cause for premature mortality and disability among those aged between 15 and 49, accounting for 10 percent of all deaths.
The report went on to warn that current drinking habits pose "dire ramifications for future population health”. The greatest proportion of alcohol-related deaths among young people were through self-harm, road injuries or tuberculosis. While those aged over 50 were more likely to die from cancer, especially women.
The study team claims it supersede previous claims pertaining to alcohol use because they took the insights from 595 studies and 28 million people into consideration for their research.
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