A new research conducted by the University of Cambridge, partly funded by the British Heart Foundation reveals that regular drinking of alcohol could shorten our life. Alcohol drinking is linked to strokes, heart failure, and fatal aneurysm.
The majority of people believe that moderate drinking is actually beneficial to cardiovascular health, but the study shows that UK’s new lower guideline of moderate alcohol intake is a good measure.
After studying over 600,000 people from 19 countries in the world, the scientists reached a conclusion. In their study, they took into consideration age, smoking, diabetes in the family, occupation, and education.
The maximum safe limit was almost 5 drinks per week – that meant 100g of pure alcohol, or 5 pints of 4% ABV beer, or five glasses of 13% ABV wine that measures 175ml each.
Drinking over this limit can shorten the life expectancy. For example, if a person drank over 10 drinks per week, they would live two years less, and 18 drinks per week can shorten the life with 4-5 years.
In 2016, the UK guidelines were for 6 pints of beer or six glasses of wine per week, but they have recently lowered the guidelines with one less pint of beer or glass of wine.
Drink Less Alcohol to Live Longer
The study merely delivers a message, and as the lead author of the study, Dr. Angela Wood (University of Cambridge), said:
“If you already drink alcohol, drinking less may help you live longer and lower your risk of several cardiovascular conditions. Alcohol consumption is associated with a slightly lower risk of non-fatal heart attacks but this must be balanced against the higher risk associated with other serious — and potentially fatal — cardiovascular diseases.”
The British Heart Foundation’s Senior dietician, Victoria Taylor stressed that this study “may make sobering reading for countries that have set their recommendations at higher levels than the UK, but this does seem to broadly reinforce government guidelines for the UK.
Of course, Victoria Taylor has a good point, saying that we should consider the guidelines as a limit, not a target!
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.