Safe dose of alcohol turned out to be a myth – research

The Lancet has published an exhaustive study on the statistics of alcohol consumption worldwide and its consequences. As the authors of the study concluded, alcohol is one of the leading causes of death in the world, and there is no safe dose. Scientists have published data for different countries – according to the study, in Russia, for example, 64 percent of women and 80 percent of men drink alcohol.

Alcohol consumption makes a significant contribution to mortality and disability of the population around the world – for example, drinking is associated with the development of 60 acute and chronic diseases, including various types of cancer. However, some studies point out that moderate alcohol consumption can be beneficial – for example, have a protective effect on patients with coronary heart disease, diabetes, and several other conditions. For a detailed review of research on the possible benefits of moderate alcohol consumption, read the Wet Mantoux blog “On the benefits and harms of alcohol.”

it died in 195 points of the planet from 1990 to 2016, for people aged 15 to 95 years. In their analysis, the scientists included such factors as alcohol sales, alcohol consumption by tourists and some others that were not taken into account in previous statistics.

According to the findings of the study, every third person on the planet consumes alcohol. The leaders in terms of the number of people drinking were Denmark and Norway – for example, 97 percent of men and 95 percent of women in Denmark drink alcohol. However, the leaders in terms of the number of daily drinks were Romania among men and Ukraine among women. In Romania, there are 8 standard doses of alcohol per man per day (10 grams of ethyl alcohol, which are contained in one shot of spirits, a small glass of wine or a can of beer). Least of all alcohol is consumed in Muslim countries such as Pakistan. In Russia, according to the survey, 64 percent of women and 80 percent of men drank alcohol in 2016, and the level of alcohol consumption was 2 doses per day for women and 5 for men.
For all age groups, alcohol is a cumulative risk factor. , leading to death and disability, was in seventh place. However, in the 15-49 age group, alcohol has already topped the ranking. Together, alcohol consumption is responsible for 2.2 percent of deaths among women and 6.8 percent among men each year. Among middle-aged people, these numbers are already rising to 3.8 and 12.2 percent, respectively. The leading causes of death due to alcohol in this age group were tuberculosis, road accidents and self-harm. Alcohol-associated cancers are the leading causes of death in older people.

Despite the relatively moderate officially registered adherence to alcohol, the alcohol-related mortality rate in Russia was above average: 6.2 percent among women and 20 percent among men of all ages.

Researchers calculated the relationship between the average alcohol intake and the risk of developing 23 diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer (for example, breast, liver, intestinal cancer), liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, and others. It turned out that each additional dose of alcohol increases the risk of developing these diseases. So, one dose of alcohol per day, compared to zero, increases the risk by half a percent, and two, compared to zero, already by seven percent.

GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators /The Lancet 2018

Increased risk of mortality from alcohol-related causes, depending on the number of alcohol doses in day

Although the authors have confirmed the small beneficial effect of small doses of alcohol in preventing coronary heart disease, the risk of developing other diseases outweighs this effect. Thus, even minimal consumption of alcohol in the long term, according to global statistics, is harmful to health, the researchers conclude.

In a previous review, published in The Lancet , scientists concluded that the acceptable weekly dose of alcohol should not exceed 100 grams of ethyl alcohol, but new work reduces this amount to zero.

Earlier, we said that the risk of dying from factors

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