Alcohol consumption associated with 2.8 million global deaths annually



Prof Saxena said: "Most of us in the United Kingdom drink well in excess of safe limits, and as this study shows there is no safe limit".

For years, experts have said that moderate drinking - defined as up to a drink per day for women and up to two per day for men - probably is not bad for overall health.

One of the study authors, Prof Sonia Saxena, a researcher at Imperial College London and a practising GP, said: "One drink a day does represent a small increased risk, but adjust that to the United Kingdom population as a whole and it represents a far bigger number, and most people are not drinking just one drink a day". The authors called it "the most comprehensive estimate of the global burden of alcohol use to date".

The new study, which appeared in the medical journal The Lancet, found that consuming any amount of alcohol increases risk for death and disease. "In particular, the strong association between alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer, injuries, and infectious diseases offset the protective effects for ischemic heart disease in women in our study".

For older people, cancer is the most common fatal health effect of drinking.

The message comes from the authors of the Global Burden of Diseases study, a rolling project based at the University of Washington, in Seattle.

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Overall, drinking was the seventh leading risk factor for premature death and disease in 2016, accounting for just over two per cent of deaths in women and almost seven per cent in men. For populations aged 50 years and older, cancers accounted for a large proportion of total alcohol-attributable deaths in 2016, constituting 27·1% (95% UI 21·2-33·3) of total alcohol-attributable female deaths and 18·9% (15·3-22·6) of male deaths.

Looked at one way, that seems like a small increment: 914 out of 100,000 teetotallers will encounter those problems, compared to 918 people who imbibe seven times per week. If one unit equals 10 grams of pure alcohol, it turns out that in 24 hours the average Ukrainian drank three glasses of vodka, four glasses of wine or litre of beer. According to the Mayo Clinic, alcohol, though not totally risk-free, can reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes and having a strike.

That may all change thanks to new research. Majority relied on self-reported information, which means people have to remember their drinking habits accurately, which means the data might be flawed or inaccurate, according to CBS.

Chris noted that it is patently untrue to claim there are no health benefits from moderate alcohol consumption and the suggestion that there is 'no safe level of alcohol' is scaremongering.

She explained: "This study goes further than others by considering a number of factors including alcohol sales, self-reported data on the amount of alcohol drunk, abstinence, tourism data and the levels of illicit trade and home brewing".

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