Drinking alcohol or having a healthy long life?

Drinking alcohol or having a healthy long life?

A new study in the Lancet described the health benefits to lower the limits of alcohol consumption currently used in the US guidelines.

Regularly drinking more than the recommended UK guidelines for alcohol could take years off your life, according to new research. The study shows that drinking more alcohol is associated with a higher risk of stroke, fatal aneurysm, heart failure, early death.

Researchers combined data from 83 prospective studies on 600,000 current drinkers without baseline cardiovascular disease. During a median 7.5 years’ follow-up, roughly 7% of participants died and 7% experienced their first CVD event.

For both men and women, consuming 100 grams of alcohol (or about 7 servings) or less per week was associated with lowest all-cause mortality.

In the U.S., this is about half the recommended upper limit for men and equivalent to the recommended limit for women.

Men and women who exceeded the U.K. recommended limits had shorter life expectancies of 2.7 years and 1.3 years, respectively, at age 40.

Higher intake was associated with elevated risk for most cardiovascular outcomes, higher risk of stroke, of a fatal aneurysm, heart failure, early death.

“The drinking levels recommended in this study will no doubt be described as implausible and impracticable by the alcohol industry and other opponents of public health warnings on alcohol. Nonetheless, the findings ought to be widely disseminated and they should provoke informed public and professional debate.”

These low limits of consumption are close to my French father family usage, and the life expectancy in this branch is exceeding 90 years in the 2 genders.

Alcoholism has been a plague in France, poor people were drinking way too much. The public health worked seriously to lower the consumption, in 1984 a campaign started with the slogan 1 glass is alright, 3 glasses: Hello damages!

In this video, Cabu explained why he worked for this campaign.

It is always difficult to see him and remember how he was killed in the Charlie Hebdo Massacre.


My personal advice for drinking alcohol are:

  • Have a quality wine or beer.
  • No more than 2 glasses during an event.
  • No more than 1 glass a day and 1 bottle a week.

The coordinated work of the medical teams, public health, and education, improved significantly the alcohol consumption, is this workable everywhere? We have no answer, we can just try to convince people to lower their limits to drink alcohol and maybe we can explain the benefits of feeling free from drugs.

For alcohol, there is a mix of culture and addiction, the information must be well debated.

Medical practitioners can just inform as they are still doing to help patients to cease to use tobacco, now have soft drinks or add sugar to their intake.

Alcohol is harmful and the message is very difficult to deliver.





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