Every Alcoholic Drink Shortens Your Life By 15 Minutes

Drinking more than five glasses of wine a week could knock years off life, study suggests

Drinking more than five glasses of wine a week could knock years off life, study suggests

Pooling data from 83 studies of current drinkers in 19 high-income countries, researchers linked an alcohol intake of more than 3.5 oz. alcohol-about seven standard USA drinks-with higher mortality.

The major study looked at over 600,000 drinkers around the world, and came to the conclusion that drinking between five and 10 175ml glasses of wine or pints of beer a week is risky to your health, and could knock up to half a year off your life. In more approachable terms, that's roughly five pints of beer or five moderate glasses of wine per week.

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, a standard drink in the U.S.is a 12 fl oz. can of regular (5 percent alcohol) beer, a 5 fl oz. glass of 12 percent wine or a 1.5 fl oz. shot of a 40-percent distilled spirit like vodka or whiskey. Scientists found a 40-year-old exceeding the benchmark of 100g of pure alcohol, around five drinks a week, had their life expectancy shortened by six months.

Alcohol is linked to a host of health complaints including heart problems, liver disease, several types of cancer and dementia.

The report estimated that having 10 to 15 alcoholic drinks a week could shorten a person's life by one to two years, according to the BBC.

The risk of stroke, heart failure, fatal high blood pressure, and a fatal aortic aneurysm - when one of the body's major blood vessels ruptures - decreased in line with reductions in alcohol consumption.

'This doesn't mean we should rest on our laurels, many people in the United Kingdom regularly drink over what's recommended, ' she said.


Professor Naveed Sattar, co-author of the study and an expert in cardiovascular science at Glasgow University, said: "This study provides clear evidence to support lowering the recommended limits of alcohol consumption in many countries around the world".

"This is a serious wake-up call for many countries", said Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation charity, which helped fund the study, in a statement.

But they said "on balance" there are no health benefits from drinking and further research was needed to explore the link. It does reduce the chance of a non-fatal heart attack.

Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said the study seemed to "broadly reinforce" Government guidelines. Just drinking two units a day over the limit leads to steady increases of death rates. Consuming two bacon sandwiches a week or sitting watching a hour of television per day is statistically more risky for long-term health.

Each unit of alcohol consumed above the U.K.'s recommended daily guidelines takes about the same amount of life as a cigarette, according to The Guardian.

"Of course, it's up to individuals whether they think this is worthwhile".

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