Tuesday March 26, 2019

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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Representational image. Pixabay

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.

Alcohol
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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Early Onset of Drinking May Lead to Alcohol Dependence, Says Study

To prevent or delay early onset of drinking, more should be known about the modifiable circumstances that enable these behaviours

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drinking
In the experiments, rats were trained to drink alcohol in a way that mimics human binge-drinking behaviour. Pixabay

Early onset of drinking and intoxication may lead to heavy drinking and alcohol dependence among people, warn researchers from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in the US.

Researchers concluded this in a study on the correlation between early age (less than 15 years) and contexts of first intoxication such as one’s own home, friends’ homes or outdoor settings, and the problems that arise in these contexts.

For their research, the team studied 405 adolescent (aged 15-18 years) drinkers.

According to the findings, published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, about one-third of adolescent drinkers experienced their first intoxication by the age of 15, about one-third experienced it after 15, and about one-third had consumed alcohol but never to the stage of intoxication.

A new drug can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers
Early age drinking linked to alcohol dependence: Study. Pixabay

In addition, drinkers reported drinking most frequently at homes, followed by outdoor settings, and then in restaurants, bars or nightclubs.

The early age of first intoxication was found to be strongly linked to drinking in outdoor settings, but not to drinking at home.

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The results of the study emphasise importance of contexts in early alcohol initiation and the resulting problems to inform development of preventive interventions specific to contexts, said Lipperman-Kreda, a researcher from the varsity.

To prevent or delay early onset of drinking, more should be known about the modifiable circumstances that enable these behaviours, the study suggested. (IANS)