Alcohol is not safe, even an occasional drink is harmful to health, warns study

Published in the Lancet journal the study looked at a broad range of risks posed by alcohol consumption, including diseases, driving accidents and self-harm


                            Alcohol is not safe, even an occasional drink is harmful to health, warns study

The debate over whether alcohol is healthy and safe for consumption has been around for years. A recent scientific study published in the Lancet Medical Journal has rejected the notion that any amount or type of alcohol can be healthy for the body.

The Global Burden of Diseases study analyzed levels of alcohol use and its health effects in 195 countries from 1990 to 2016 and concluded that no amount of alcohol is safe, reports NPR.

The study looked at a broad range of risks posed by alcohol consumption, including diseases, driving accidents and self-harm. The report offered data that claimed that alcohol led to 2.8 million deaths in 2016. The study also found it was the leading risk factor for diseases worldwide, accounting for almost 10 percent of deaths among those between the ages 15 and 49.

The report of the study says, "Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none. This level is in conflict with most health guidelines, which espouse the health benefits associated with consuming up to two drinks per day."

The authors of the study also say that moderate drinking may protect people against heart disease, but they have discovered that the potential to develop cancer and other diseases offsets these potential benefits, as do other risks of harm. The report also wants governments to revise health guidelines and promote lower levels of alcohol consumption. According to the study, for younger people, the three leading causes of death linked to alcohol use were tuberculosis, road injuries, and self-harm. Drinking alcohol was also a leading cause of cancer for people older than 50.

Representational Image (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Representational Image (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Robyn Burton of King’s College London and an author on the study said, "The conclusions of the study are clear and unambiguous: alcohol is a colossal global health issue. The solutions are straightforward: Increasing taxation creates income for hard-pressed health ministries, and reducing the exposure of children to alcohol marketing has no downsides.”

In the last year, an analysis published in Lancet came up with similar conclusions in relation to alcohol consumption and its detrimental effect, reports Bloomberg. In April, a large analysis of earlier studies found some reduction in heart attacks among drinkers but the conclusion was that it increased the risk of premature death from several other ailments.

The chemicals in lager, wine, and hard alcohol are related with almost one of every 10 deaths in individuals ages 15 to 49 around the globe, making it the main risk factor for individuals in that age group, as per an analysis of prior investigations, published in Lancet journal.