No level of alcohol consumption is safe, researchers say

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Alcohol use was ranked as the seventh leading risk factor for premature death and disability worldwide in 2016, and was the leading cause for people aged 15-49 years old. This study was only able to find a protective effect between low levels of alcohol consumption and a specific type of heart disease known as ischemic heart disease. The guidelines also address "special occasions" where women should have no more than three drinks and men no more than four on a single occasion.

It analysed 694 global data sources in addition to 592 prospective and retrospective studies on alcohol consumption and found that approximately a quarter of the planet (2bn people) were drinkers, 63pc of who were male.

Although it claims in absolute terms that there is no safe level of drinking connected with alcohol, what it fails to acknowledge is that, actually, the risks of moderate drinking are in fact very low. According to the report, alcohol led to 2.8 million deaths in 2016.

The team used a new statistical method to estimate the risks of consuming between zero and 15 standard alcohol drinks each day.

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The deaths included alcohol-related cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, intentional injuries such as violence and self-harm, traffic collisions and unintentional injuries like drowning and fires.

These results aren't comforting either: Any amount of alcohol use was linked to worsening health conditions, although, as expected, the risk was contingent upon how much a person drinks.

The CDC also says that more than 2,000 Americans die each year from acute alcohol intoxication, and that more than 38 million American adults admit to binge-drinking once a week, downing eight drinks at a time on average.

"However, it is important to note that many everyday activities, such as driving, carry risks which we deem to be acceptable - studies like this one can help people make more informed choices about which risks they wish to take".

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The 0.5% increase means that 918 people in every 100,000 who drink one unit a day would develop a health problem compared with 914 who do not.

"There is no safe level of alcohol", Max Griswold, lead author and IHME researcher, told the AFP news agency.

"There's no safe level of riding a bike or driving a auto". The recommendations need to come down further and the government needs to rethink its policy. They're often self-reported, which relies on people recalling their drinking habits, which is subject to human error; or based on alcohol sales data, which doesn't always provide an accurate picture of people's individual consumption levels. "They will go some weeks not drinking anything", he said. They were responsible for 27.1 per cent of alcohol-related deaths of women and 18.9 per cent of men.

Among men, drinking alcohol in 2016 was most widespread in Denmark (97 percent), along with Norway, Argentina, Germany, and Poland (94 percent).

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association both say men can safely drink up to two alcoholic drinks a day and women up to a drink a day, although neither group recommends that people start drinking.