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Drinking Alcohol Could Take Years Off Your Life, Study Reveals

13 April 2018, 01:41 | Randall Craig

The recommended alcohol limit in Italy and Spain is almost 50 per cent higher than in the UK

Alcohol guidelines in many countries may not be safe study

The study said those who consume more than that increase their risk of stroke and heart failure and can expect to die sooner than those who drink less.

A 40-year-old regularly drinking between 200g and 350g of alcohol per week - about 10 to 18 glasses of wine or pints of beer - had a lower life expectancy of around one to two years, researchers found.

"The study supports an adoption of lower limits of alcohol consumption than are recommended in most current guidelines across the globe - 100 grams per week maximum", Professor Hall said.

"The take home message is this: less is probably better".

Those involved with the study predict the findings won't be welcomed by Big Alcohol, which has been steadfastly pushing the health benefits of moderate drinking.

That's about 10 standard drinks a week and is significantly lower than the no more than two-a-day limit imposed under official Australian Guidelines.

The study's authors note it has several limitations, primarily that it relies on self-reported data about alcohol consumption.

Drinking more than six glasses of wine or cans of beer a week reduces your life expectancy, according to the one of the largest-ever studies on global alcohol consumption.

Current Irish guidelines recommend a limit of 170g pure alcohol (17 standard drinks) per week for men and 110g pure alcohol (11 standard drinks) for women.




Recommended limits in Italy, Portugal, and Spain are almost 50% higher than this, and in the U.S. the upper limit for men is nearly double this. They recorded 40,310 deaths and 39,018 cardiovascular disease events among the group's members.

"The drinking levels recommended in this study will no doubt be described as implausible and impracticable by the alcohol industry and other opponents of public health warnings on alcohol".

A NEW GLOBAL health study of almost 600,000 drinkers has concluded that recommended weekly alcohol consumption should be lower than Ireland's current level.

However, "this must be balanced against the higher risk associated with other serious - and potentially fatal - cardiovascular diseases", said lead author Angela Wood from the University of Cambridge in Britain.

The study was carried out by researchers at the University of Cambridge and was published in The Lancet journal.

The National Health and Medical Research Council is now undertaking a revision of the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol 2009.

Alcohol guidelines vary substantially from country to country.

"Until then, the 2009 Alcohol Guidelines remain NHMRC's current advice".

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