Friday November 16, 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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Cannabis Use Has Lasting Effects on Cognitive Skills in Teenagers Than Alcohol

Moreover, these increased with cannabis use and also were long-lasting compared to alcohol

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cannabis flower marijuana

While both alcohol and marijuana misuse are known to be associated with impairments in learning, memory, attention and decision-making, as well as with lower academic performance, a new study claimed that cannabis use has lasting effects on cognitive skills in teenagers than alcohol.

The findings, led by researchers at Universite de Montreal, showed cannabis affected cognitive functions such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control.

Moreover, these increased with cannabis use and also were long-lasting compared to alcohol.

“Increases in cannabis use, but not alcohol consumption, showed additional concurrent and lagged effects on cognitive functions such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control,” said Patricia Conrod, from the varsity.

“Of particular concern was the finding that cannabis use was associated with lasting effects on a measure of inhibitory control, which is a risk factor for other addictive behaviours, and might explain why early onset cannabis use is a risk factor for other addictions,” added Jean-Francois G. Morin, doctoral student at Montreal.

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Cannabis more ‘toxic’ to teenage brains than alcohol: Study. Pixabay

“Some of these effects are even more pronounced when consumption begins earlier in adolescence,” Morin added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the team followed a sample of 3,826 Canadian high school students from 7th to 10th grade over a period of four years.

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In a context where policies and attitudes regarding substance use are being reconsidered, this research highlights the importance of protecting youth from the adverse effects of consumption through greater investment in drug-prevention programmes.

“While this study did not detect effects of teenage alcohol consumption on cognitive development, the neurotoxic effects may be observable in specific subgroups differentiated based on the level of consumption, gender or age,” Morin said. (IANS)