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Want to live longer? Maybe drink less alcohol, study finds



Students are unlikely to like the results of this study.

New research has shown that drinking the recommended amount of alcohol could shorten your life – and the recommended amount is probably much lower than what you actually drink.

In the United States, guidelines recommend that women have no more than 98 grams per week – or about seven drinks in total in a week. For men, it is no more than 196 grams per week or about two standard drinks per day.

The study, written by more than 100 researchers, including Daniel Blazer II of Duke, professor emeritus of psychiatry, found that drinking more than 100 grams of alcohol every week was associated with an increased risk of early death , According to Blazer, this was the largest study looking at the relationship between alcohol and mortality.

"It contradicts the current wisdom about alcohol," Blazer said. "Until then, the data suggest that there was actually a sweet spot, so if you drink one drink a day, you may have a longer life expectancy than no drinking at all."

Drinking guidelines vary across countries Canada does not recommend more than 1

36 grams per week for women and no more than 204 grams per week for men. In the United Kingdom, the guidelines for men and women recommend no more than six standard drinks per week.

To conduct the study, researchers looked at the drinking habits of about 600,000 people, measured in 83 studies in 19 countries. About half of these people reported drinking more than 100 grams a week, and 8.4 percent consumed more than 350 grams a week.

Compared to people who consumed between zero and 100 grams of alcohol per week, the researchers found that life expectancy for those who drank 100-200 grams per week was six months lower and one to two years lower for them who was drinking 200 to 300 grams a week. In addition, people weighing more than 350 grams lived on average four to five years less.

The exact reasons for the increased risk of early death remain unclear.

"I think that although we do not know exactly what the mechanism is, it suggests that doctors and other healthcare professionals need to talk to their patients," Blazer said.

In the study, alcohol consumption was also associated with an increased risk of stroke, congestive heart failure, and death from hypertensive disease or an aortic aneurysm.

However, higher alcohol consumption was also associated with a slightly lower risk of heart attack, which Blazer said needs further investigation. He pointed out that future studies should examine the biological mechanisms by which alcohol may affect one's health.

Still, he said there is no reason to panic when you drink. One drink a day does not dramatically increase your risk of early death.

"The risk is relatively low and every person will decide what is healthy and what is not healthy," he said.

Blazer also emphasized the importance of doctors talking with their patients about their alcohol habits.

"The message is that you have to take this into account, along with all the other things you need to think about if you want to live a longer life," he said.


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