Wednesday September 19, 2018

There’s No Healthy Level for Consuming Alcohol, Lancet Study Confirms

For people aged 50 and older, cancers were a leading cause of alcohol related death, constituting 27.1 per cent of deaths in women and 18.9 per cent deaths in men

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Contrary to claims that one or two glasses of wine a day keep you healthy, a study published in the prestigious journal The Lancet has warned that there is no safe level of drinking alcohol as it is associated with nearly one in 10 deaths among middle-aged people.

The findings showed that any health benefits of alcohol against heart disease and diabetes are outweighed by its adverse effects on other aspects of health, particularly cancers.

“The conclusions of the study are clear and unambiguous: alcohol is a colossal global health issue and small reductions in health-related harms at low levels of alcohol intake are outweighed by the increased risk of other health-related harms, including cancer,” said Robyn Burton, from the King’s College London.

Globally, one in three people (32.5 per cent) drink alcohol — equivalent to 2.4 billion people — including 25 per cent of women (0.9 billion women) and 39 per cent of men (1.5 billion men).

Consequently, 2.2 per cent of women and 6.8 per cent of men died from alcohol-related health problems each year.

“Policies focussing on reducing alcohol consumption to the lowest levels will be important to improve health.

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Consequently, 2.2 per cent of women and 6.8 per cent of men died from alcohol-related health problems each year. Pixabay

“The widely held view of the health benefits of alcohol needs revising, particularly as improved methods and analyses continue to shed light on how much alcohol contributes to global death and disability,” said lead author Max Griswold, from the University of Washington in the US.

The Global Burden of Disease study estimated the level of alcohol use and health effects in 28 million people across 195 countries between 1990 and 2016.

For people aged 50 and older, cancers were a leading cause of alcohol related death, constituting 27.1 per cent of deaths in women and 18.9 per cent deaths in men.

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“Worldwide we need to revisit alcohol control policies and health programmes, and to consider recommendations for abstaining from alcohol.

“These include excise taxes on alcohol, controlling the physical availability of alcohol and the hours of sale, and controlling alcohol advertising. Any of these policy actions would contribute to reductions in population-level consumption, a vital step toward decreasing the health loss associated with alcohol use,” the researchers said. (IANS)

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Alcohol May Increase Death Risk in Young TB Patients

According to the researchers, the study could facilitate the development of therapies for alcoholic individuals with latent and active Mtb infections

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Hangovers might last longer than you think
Hangovers might last longer than you think. Pixabay

Increased consumption of alcohol in people with tuberculosis (TB) may accelerate their risk of death, scientists led by an Indian-origin researcher have found.

Chronic alcohol consumption modulates a host of immune defense mechanisms and increases susceptibility to infections with various pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) — the TB-causing bacterium.

In the study, the risk was seen in young mice, not in older ones.

It was due to the production of a protein IFN-a — involved in innate immune response against viral infection — in the lungs by a subset of immune cells that express molecules called CD11b and Ly6G, explained researchers, led by Deepak Tripathi of the University of Texas.

For the study, published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, young and old mice were fed alcohol or control diets for one month and then infected with MtbH37Rv.

Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol may increase death risk in young tuberculosis patients. Pixabay

The analysis showed that 80 per cent of Mtb-infected alcohol-fed young mice died within 6 months, while the death rate was 25 per cent in Mtb-infected alcohol-fed old mice.

Further, among patients with latent tuberculosis infection, peripheral blood mononuclear cells from young alcoholic individuals produced significantly higher amounts of IFN-a than those from young non-alcoholic, old alcoholic, and old non-alcoholic individuals.

Also Read: Teens Drinking Regularly face Worse Alcohol Problems Than Adults

This suggests that young alcoholic individuals with latent tuberculosis infection have a higher risk of developing active tuberculosis infection.

According to the researchers, the study could facilitate the development of therapies for alcoholic individuals with latent and active Mtb infections. (IANS)