Daily wine consumption can cause harmful death

Torsten Schon		Is it time to cut back? Another study raises more questions about even light drinking

Torsten Schon Is it time to cut back? Another study raises more questions about even light drinking

Specifically, drinking four or more times weekly, even if it's only 1-2 drinks at a time, increases risk of mortality.

For the study, the team looked at two large groups of people in the U.S.: more than 340,600 people in the National Health Interview Survey and more than 93,600 treated as outpatients at Veterans Administration clinics.

Professor Sarah Hartz, of Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, said: 'This report demonstrates an association between increased mortality and drinking behaviours that falls within the current USA dietary guidelines for "healthy" alcohol use.

While it is agreed upon that excessive drinking can lead to some severe consequences on one's health, studies have previously determined that drinking a daily glass of certain alcoholic beverages, like wine, has some benefits.

"As people age, their risk of death from any cause also increases, so a 20 per cent risk increase at age 75 translates into many more deaths than it does at age 25", Dr Hartz said.

The study found that the 20 per cent increase in risk was spread through all age groups.

What's interesting about this line of research is how it seems to conflict with other studies that suggest small amounts of alcohol - such as red wine - may not be such a bad thing. She explained that since very few people die in their 20s, a 20% increased risk of premature death is less significant at that age than it would be for someone in their 70s.

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Following on from the results of her research, Professor Hartz believes doctors in future will be able to recommend an occasional drink or abstinence based on a family history of heart disease or cancer.

American researchers focusing on the impact of light and regular drinking found that people consuming alcohol on four or more days a week increased their risk of early death by 20 per cent on average.

Drinking a daily glass of wine for health reasons may not be so healthy after all, suggests a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

"With regard to cancer risk, any drinking at all was detrimental". Conversely, they may encourage those who are at risk of cancer to give up drinking entirely.

Therefore, healthcare providers might advise people at risk of developing heart problems to drink on occasion.

She added: "If you tailor medical recommendations to an individual person, there may be situations under which you would think that occasional drinking potentially could be helpful".

"But overall", she reports, "I do think people should no longer consider a glass of wine a day to somehow be healthy".

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