A recent study published in the Lancet Journal reports that drinking more than 100grams of alcohol per week lowers your life expectancy. 100grams of alcohol is equivalent to about 5 drinks per week.
Different countries have hitherto worked with their own recommended drinking limits. In the United States of America, the recommended drinking limit is 98grams for women and double that amount for men; a drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Limits in countries like Portugal, Spain and Italy are almost 50% higher than that. In the United Kingdom, the recommended drinking limit is 8 drinks per week for both men and women.
These recommended drinking limits have been set in order to clarify what levels of alcohol are safe or risky and these recommended drinking limits are thought to be the definition of “moderate” drinking, but this recent study has actually just reinforced what other studies in recent years have been saying; that what we term “moderate” drinking might actually be “harmful” drinking.
The team of international researchers studied the drinking habits of over 600,000 current drinkers in 83 studies across 19 countries. 50% reported drinking more than 100grams per week and 8.4% reported drinking more than 350 grams per week.
The report found out that exceeding 100grams increases your risk of having some illnesses like stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, etc. The research reported that compared to drinking below 100grams per day, drinking 100 to 200 grams was estimated to shorten the lifespan of a 40 year old by six months. Drinking 200 to 350grams per week was estimated to reduce the lifespan by 1 to 2 years, and drinking above 350grams per week would shorten the life span by 3 to 4 years.
The leader of the study, Angela Wood; a biostatistician from the University of Cambridge said to CNN that “the key message of the study for public health is that if you are already drinking alcohol, drinking less may help you live longer and lower the risk of several cardiovascular conditions.”
Moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to reduction in non-fatal heart attack, but the authors say that this benefit doesn’t offset the risk that drinking brings to the fore. This is not the first study that has alluded to the fact that drinking should be reduced. Although, alcohol has been purported to have certain health benefits, research generally suggest that less is more when it comes to healthy consumption. The data collected in this study supports a reduction of what is termed moderate drinking of alcohol and an adoption of lower limits of alcohol consumption.