No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe, Researchers Say
A new report shows the peril of even moderate drinking
A new large-scale study examining the effects of drinking around the globe concludes that no amount of alcohol consumption is safe.
Alcohol use is the seventh leading risk factor for premature deaths and disabilities worldwide, the study reports. But among individuals from the ages of 15 to 49, drinking is the biggest risk factor for deaths and disabilities. The top three causes of attributable deaths in this younger age group are tuberculosis, road injuries, and self-harm.
Among individuals from the ages of 15 to 49, drinking is the biggest risk factor for deaths and disabilities.
For those aged 50 and older, the main causes of death attributable to alcohol are cancers. Alcohol use was responsible for 2.8 million deaths worldwide in 2016 alone, the report said.
The study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and published in The Lancet medical journal, concluded that “alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss.”
Researchers said alcohol consumption increases the risk of all causes of mortality, especially cancers. The authors called on the medical community to walk back any suggestion that even moderate consumption is healthful or safe and said stricter alcohol control policies may be in order.
“Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none,” the authors wrote.
The research team used analysis from 694 data sources and 592 separate studies.