If you're one of the third of all humankind who drinks alcohol, take note: There's no amount of liquor, wine or beer that is safe for your overall health, according to a new analysis of 2016 global alcohol consumption and disease risk.
The study found that for people aged 15-49, alcohol was the most important risk factor, account for 3.8% of women's deaths and 12.2% of men's. There are multiple causes of death related to alcohol drinking and is associated with tuberculosis, road injuries, self harm and cancers. "But the evidence is the evidence".
The findings contrast with most health guidelines, which say that moderate drinking - about 1 drink a day for women and 2 for men - is safe. The US ranked fifth among men and seventh among women on that list; the United Kingdom ranked 21st for men and ninth for women.
'Come to think of it, there is no safe level of living, but nobody would recommend abstention'. The researchers reveal that roughly three million deaths could be attributed to alcohol in just the year 2016 alone.
For every 100,000 light drinkers, 918 people each year develop one of 23 alcohol-related health problems.
Drinking under the age of 15, a growing problem in the U.S. and other countries, was not included.
The heaviest drinkers: Countries were the most alcohol is consumed per person. It's even higher in Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Alcohol abuse loses our country billions of dollars every year.
Analysing data from 15 to 95-year-olds, the researchers compared people who did not drink at all with those who had one alcoholic drink a day.
The study used data from 694 studies to estimate how common drinking alcohol is worldwide, then used a further 592 studies to analyse the health risks associated with alcohol. The study has been the largest and the most detailed carried out to map the effects of alcohol. "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.
She added that those who are able to drink moderately are making their own choices based on their experiences.
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Drinking patterns vary globally.
Previous research has indicated one drink a day for women and two a day for men was a safe level which could protect against heart disease. For people over 50, cancers were cited as a leading cause of alcohol-related death (about 27 percent of deaths in women and 19 percent of deaths in men).
The study shows that British women drink an average of three drinks a day, and rank eighth in the world of highest drinkers.
"The problem is that parity in terms of drinking means a lot more harm", he said.
With five "units" of alcohol per day, the likelihood of serious consequences jumps by 37 percent. That might be true in isolation, Gakidou said, but the picture changes when all risks are considered.
At the time, England's chief medical officer, Prof Dame Sally Davies, noted that any amount of alcohol could increase the risk of cancer.
"In particular, the strong association between alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer, injuries, and infectious diseases offset the protective effects for ischaemic heart disease in women in our study".
The risk climbs in a steep "J-curve", the study found.
"Not that long ago two thirds of alcohol was drunk in pubs, mainly by men".
Globally, drinking alcohol is the seventh-leading risk factor for premature death and disease.