That Extra Glass of Wine Might Take 30 Minutes Off Your Life

Drinking more than five glasses of wine a week could knock years off life, study suggests

People who drank more than 100g of booze (five to six glasses of wine) per week increased their risk of stroke, fatal aneurysm, heart failure and early death, according to the study.

The worldwide team of researchers analysed data taken from 83 studies in high-income countries and found an increase in all causes of death once more than 100g of alcohol is consumed each week.

Two years is one-twentieth of a 40-year-old's life. This is equal to a glass of wine a day, which this study found to be unsafe.

'This doesn't mean we should rest on our laurels, many people in the United Kingdom regularly drink over what's recommended, ' she said.

A 40-year-old who drank up to twice that amount cut their life expectancy by six months, and those who drank more than 350g of wine or beer cut their lives by four to five years.

About half of those studied reported drinking more than 12.5 units a week - roughly five pints or medium glasses of wine - while nearly one in ten (8.5 per cent) consumed more than triple that amount.

Commenting on the study Prof David Spiegelhalter of the University of Cambridge, said: "This is a massive and very impressive study". Consuming two bacon sandwiches a week or sitting watching a hour of television per day is statistically more risky for long-term health.

"Of course, it's up to individuals whether they think this is worthwhile".

The global study, part-funded by the British Heart Foundation, also looked at the association between alcohol and different types of cardiovascular disease. The recommended upper limit for alcohol intake also exceeded seven drinks per week in countries like Italy, Portugal and Spain. It does reduce the chance of a non-fatal heart attack.

We won't bore you with the math it takes to figure out how many units of alcohol are in your drink, but instead, provide this handy guide that shows that on average, a glass of red wine has two units of alcohol while white wine has three.

Researchers found that even the UK's current guideline weekly limit of 14 units is too much. Participants were enrolled in the study between 1964 and 2010.

Lead author Dr Angela Wood, of Cambridge University, said: "The key message of this research for public health is that, if you already drink alcohol, drinking less may help you live longer and lower your risk of several cardiovascular conditions".

The report carried by The Lancet says recommended alcohol limits should be lowered to no more than 100g of alcohol, which equates to 10 standard drinks a week for both men and women.

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