Whatever Amount of Alcohol You're Drinking Is Too Much, Says New Research

Bad news for those who enjoy what they think is a healthy glass of wine a day.

Drinking alcoholic beverages is linked to some 2.8 million deaths each year, according to researchers who concluded that there is no safe level of alcohol use.

Ukranian women who drink were in a league of their own, putting away more than four glasses or shots every 24 hours, followed by Andorra, Luxembourg, Belarus, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and Britain, all averaging about three per day.

The findings showed that any health benefits of alcohol against heart disease and diabetes are outweighed by its adverse effects on other aspects of health, particularly cancers.

He added, "Although the health risks associated with alcohol starts off being small with one drink a day, they then rise rapidly as people drink more".

What's more, any protective health effects of alcohol were offset by the drink's risk, including strong links between alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer and injuries such as vehicle accidents.

They also looked at 592 studies with data on 28 million people in 195 countries to study the health risks associated with alcohol.

Alcohol has been found to be a leading risk factor for death and disease worldwide and is associated with almost one in 10 deaths in people aged 15-49 years old, according to the new study, published on Friday in medical journal The Lancet.

Men in Romania who partake knocked back a top-scoring eight drinks a day on average, with Portugal, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Ukraine just behind at seven "units" per day.

Lead author Dr Max Griswold from the University of Washington acknowledged that alcohol had a complex association with health, affecting it in multiple ways.

Drinking alcohol was the seventh leading risk factor globally for premature death and disease in 2016, accounting for 2.2 percent of deaths in women and 6.8 percent of deaths in men.

However, when looking specifically at people aged 15-49 years old, alcohol was the leading risk factor in 2016, with 3.8% of deaths in women and 12.2% of deaths in men attributable to alcohol, with causes including auto accidents and other injury.

The team used a new statistical method to estimate the risks of consuming between zero and 15 standard alcohol drinks each day.

The main causes of alcohol-related deaths in this age group were tuberculosis, road injuries, and self-harm.

Alcohol consumption caused nearly 3 million premature deaths in 2016, according to the results of a major study of drinking in 195 countries.

In their review, the authors found that the only protective effect of alcohol came with reducing the risk of ischemic heart disease.

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, professor and surgeon at Tata Memorial Hospital, which is among the contributors to The Lancet report, said that the consumption of alcohol was steadily increasing in India.

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