Alcohol causes 2.8 million deaths each year worldwide

Alcohol causes 2.8 million deaths each year worldwide

Going teetotal is the only way to avoid risking health problems with alcohol, scientists have claimed.

U.S. lead researcher Dr Max Griswold, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said: 'Previous studies have found a protective effect of alcohol on some conditions, but we found that the combined health risks associated with alcohol increase with any amount of alcohol. Of this, almost 42,000 were women.

Researchers at the University of Washington also found that alcohol caused the deaths of some 2.8 million people in 2016 - including 12% of all deaths in males aged 15-49. Drinking is a risk, he says, and people should learn to accept it as such. And four more people would be affected if they had one drink a day.

So 25,000 people drinking 16 bottles of gin a year each (that's 400,000 bottles of gin) would be associated with just one additional health problem to the base rate.

Those deaths include alcohol-related cancers and cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, intentional injury such as violence and self-harm, and traffic accidents, just to name a few. While there are small benefits to drinking moderately - like preventing heart attacks - all in all, the costs far outweigh them.

Dr Desmond Wai, a gastroenterologist at the Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, said Singapore is generally considered a low-alcohol-consumption country. The report urges governments to revise health guidelines to suggest lower levels of consumption.

The examination of impacts drew from more than 600 earlier studies, while a country-by-country tally of prevalence - the percentage of men and women who drink, and how much they consume - drew from another 700.

A new study concludes there's no amount of alcohol consumption that's safe for overall health - a finding that's likely to surprise moderate drinkers, and that has left some experts unconvinced.

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Despite the study's uncompromising message, some critics say its conclusions may be overblown.

Dr McGovern said he believes people who drink within the weekly limits of 11 units for women and 17 for men are not at risk.

"The evidence shows what the evidence shows, and I - like 2.4 billion other people on the planet that also consume alcohol - need to take it seriously".

The researchers proposed that alcoholic drinks be made less affordable and appealing by increasing taxes on them and regulating their price, the marketing of drinks and where alcohol can be sold. "Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none".

Among men, drinking alcohol in 2016 was the most widespread in Denmark, along with Norway, Argentina, Germany and Poland.

Professor Emmanuela Gakidou, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, USA, said, "Alcohol poses dire ramifications for future population health in the absence of policy action today".

"We found that there isn't really any benefit of drinking to your health", he said.

The debate over whether moderate alcohol consumption is healthy and how much drinking qualifies as "moderate" is ongoing.

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