The Australian guidelines published in 2009 are nearly a decade old and recommend "healthy men and women" drink no more than two standard drinks on any day to reduce the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury. Drinking 200 to 350 grams per week was estimated to reduce life span by one to two years and drinking more than 350 grams per week by four to five years. Therefore, the researchers remind, and warn that drinking alcohol can benefit the body, as many believe.
"Excessive drinking for an extended period of time increases the risk of cardiovascular disease".
Researchers gathered data from 83 studies, starting between 1964 and 2010, that had information about drinkers who didn't have cardiovascular disease at the start of the study, their level of alcohol consumption and additional health data, and that followed up the participants.
Even a daily glass of wine or pint of beer significantly raises the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The UK lowered its recommendations in 2016 to no more than 14 units a week, about six pints of beer or six medium glasses of wine. The risks of drinking over the allowed weekly limit for a 40-year-old were comparable to smoking, according to the study's authors.
United Kingdom guidelines were changed in 2016 to 14 units every week for men and women, lower than the limits in Italy, Portugal and Spain. For women, the recommendation tops out at one drink per day, which is 98 grams per week.
Alcohol consumption was associated with a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, fatal aortic aneurysms, fatal hypertensive disease and there were no clear thresholds where drinking less did not have a benefit.
The authors note that the different relationships between alcohol intake and various types of cardiovascular disease can be explained, at least in part, by the effect of alcohol consumption on elevated blood pressure and on factors related to lipoprotein cholesterol.More news: Donald Trump Walks Back Eagerness to Rejoin TPP; Demands 'Better Deal'
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He said the key is for people to limit how much alcohol they consume.
"This powerful study may make sobering reading for countries that have set their recommendations at higher levels than the United Kingdom, but this does seem to broadly reinforce government guidelines for the United Kingdom", said Victoria Taylor, the Senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation. "Nonetheless, the findings ought to be widely disseminated and they should provoke informed public and professional debate".
'It's as if each unit above guidelines is taking, on average, 15 minutes of life - about the same as a cigarette, ' said David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge.
No surprise, but the report finds that exceeding 100 grams increases your likelihood of a variety of awful things - stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, etc.
Any more than five drinks a week on average can take years off a person's life, the new study of more than half a million people around the world shows.
Jake Najman, Emeritus Professor from the Queensland Alcohol and Drug Research and Education Centre (QADREC) at The University of Queensland, says the study suggests even modest quantities of alcohol increase the risk of earlier death.
In contrast, drinking more was associated with a lower risk of non-fatal heart attacks.
Now, a new major multinational study has another piece of advice: People who consume more than about six drinks per week have a greater risk of premature death.
In an effort to avoid the problems that have plagued alcohol and health studies for decades, researchers only studied current drinkers, excluding abstainers or those who'd quit drinking. In 2015 Seidell helped to establish the Dutch Alcohol Directive.