Print Edition - 2018-09-06  |  Health and Living

Drinking shortens your life

  • Live Well

Sep 6, 2018-

Drinking will shorten your life, according to a study that suggests every glass of wine or pint of beer over the daily recommended limit will cut half an hour from the expected lifespan of a 40-year-old.

Those who think a glass of red wine every evening will help keep the heart healthy will be dismayed. The paper, published in the Lancet medical journal, says five standard 175ml glasses of wine or five pints a week is the upper safe limit—about 100g of alcohol, or 12.5 units in total. More than that raises the risk of stroke, fatal aneurysm (a ruptured artery in the chest), heart failure and death. There is still a small benefit to drinking, which has been much flagged in the past. It does reduce the chance of a non-fatal heart attack. But, said Dr Angela Wood, from the University of Cambridge, lead author of the study, “this must be balanced against the higher risk associated with other serious—and potentially fatal—cardiovascular diseases.”

The big international study supports the new UK recommended limits of a maximum of 14 units a week for both men and women, which were fiercely contested when introduced by England’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, in 2016. This study makes clear that on balance there are no health benefits from drinking alcohol, which is usually the case when things sound too good to be true.

Published: 06-09-2018 07:42

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