Having just one alcoholic drink per day 'shortens your life', study finds

  • Having just one alcoholic drink per day 'shortens your life', study finds

Having just one alcoholic drink per day 'shortens your life', study finds

The research contradicts other commonly held notions that drinking in moderation is good for your heart.

Many people can drink far more than that in a single day.

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 Australian guidelines suggest a full-strength can or stubby of 375 millilitres of beer or a restaurant serving of 150 millilitres of white wine is 1.4 standard drinks.

In Canada, the recommended limit for alcohol consumption is no more than 10 drinks per week for women, and no more than 15 per week for men. Spain and Romania set the upper limit for men at the equivalent of 20 drinks each week, for example. Alcohol consumption was associated with a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, fatal aortic aneurysms, fatal hypertensive disease and heart failure and there were no clear thresholds where drinking less did not have a benefit.

The authors note that the different relationships between alcohol intake and various types of cardiovascular disease can be explained, at least in part, by the effect of alcohol consumption on elevated blood pressure and on factors related to lipoprotein cholesterol. "These findings underline what we have already said". Even the most casual drinkers among us, including those following USA government recommendations, can see months and years taken away by steadily hitting the hooch, according to a new study by an worldwide team of researchers.

Regularly drinking above the United Kingdom alcohol guidelines can take years off your life, according to a major report. "Nonetheless, the findings ought to be widely disseminated and they should provoke informed public and professional debate".

The study was published this week in The Lancet.

But now a new study using data from 19 high income countries has found a reduction in life expectancy across all causes of death for people who consume more 100g per week.

If the MACH15 study produces an outcome favorable to the alcohol industry, Saitz and others believe it will be used by the industry to make health claims about its products even as more independent studies are consistently showing that people ought to be drinking less alcohol, not more.

Alarmingly, those who exceed 350g of alcohol every week, will reduce life expectancy by as much as four to five years.

Alcoholic soda?: Coca-Cola test launches new alcoholic drink in Japan; no plans for it coming to the U.S. Above this, there was increased risk of both heart attack and heart disease.

About half the people in the study reported drinking more than 100 grams of alcohol per week, and 8 percent drank more than 350 grams (12 ounces) per week.

The National Health and Medical Research Council says the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol 2009 are now under review.

"Evidence reviews on the health effects of alcohol consumption are now underway, which will help inform the recommendations in the revised guidelines", a spokesman says.