While you might think having a bit of a drink every once in a blue moon is fine, but it could actually be doing more harm than you realize. This recent study says that there is NO safe level of alcohol consumption, period.

This enormous new study was published just days ago in The Lancet. In this study, researchers found that even when it comes to moderate drinking risks are still quite prevalent. For this study researchers sorted through hundreds of studies about alcohol and its use as well as the health effects associated with it. This covering about 195 different countries from the time period of 1990 to 2016.

Their findings summary is as follows:

Globally, alcohol use was the seventh leading risk factor for both deaths and DALYs in 2016, accounting for 2·2% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 1·5–3·0) of age-standardized female deaths and 6·8% (5·8–8·0) of age-standardised male deaths. Among the population aged 15–49 years, alcohol use was the leading risk factor globally in 2016, with 3·8% (95% UI 3·2–4·3) of female deaths and 12·2% (10·8–13·6) of male deaths attributable to alcohol use. For the population aged 15–49 years, female attributable DALYs were 2·3% (95% UI 2·0–2·6) and male attributable DALYs were 8·9% (7·8–9·9). The three leading causes of attributable deaths in this age group were tuberculosis (1·4% [95% UI 1·0–1·7] of total deaths), road injuries (1·2% [0·7–1·9]), and self-harm (1·1% [0·6–1·5]). 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. The level of alcohol consumption that minimized harm across health outcomes was zero (95% UI 0·0–0·8) standard drinks per week.

This goes on to be interpreted as:

Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss. We found that the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimizes health loss is zero. These results suggest that alcohol control policies might need to be revised worldwide, refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption.

Yes, the study does acknowledge that there can be benefits to moderate drinking but that it does not outweigh the damage that is being done in trying to reap those benefits. Because of the range of factors gone over in this study, it is the most significant of its kind as of right now. It is known as the Global Burden of Disease study and really makes you think, doesn’t it?

Colin Angus from the University of Sheffield’s Alcohol Research Group said as follows in a statement:

“Alcohol was responsible for 32,000 deaths in the UK in 2016 and the findings highlight the substantial burden that alcohol places on society – particularly people aged 15-49 for whom alcohol is the leading cause of avoidable death globally.”

“The research also found that any level of alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of ill health, even after accounting for the fact that moderate drinking may protect against heart disease.”

“However, it is important to note that many everyday activities, such as driving, carry risks which we deem to be acceptable – studies like this one can help people make more informed choices about which risks they wish to take.”

What do you think about these findings? Considering how poisonous alcohol is I am not surprised. Will you still be drinking after hearing about this?

(Image Via: Pixabay/Pexels)

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