Drinking alcohol linked to lower life expectancy (Laura Lean/PA)

Study reveals sobering news on how much you should be drinking

The researchers found that regularly drinking over this was linked to lower life expectancy.

The study found that people who drink more than seven drinks a week can expect to die sooner than those who drink less.

The findings support recently lowered guidelines in the United Kingdom, which recommend that both men and women should not drink more than 14 units or 112g of pure alcohol in a week.

The more people drank, the higher the risk of a range of life threatening illnesses, including stroke and heart failure.

By contrast, alcohol consumption was associated with a somewhat lower risk of non-fatal heart attacks, they said-echoing previous research.

Some studies have suggested drinking moderate amounts of red wine is good for cardiovascular health, but what does moderate mean?

The researchers said their main finding was that the lowest risk for avoiding harm from alcohol was found in people drinking no more than 100g, or 12.5 units, of alcohol a week.

"When the United States reviews their guidelines, I would hope they would use this as evidence to consider lowering the guidelines for men probably in line with female guidelines", the study's lead author, Angela Wood, a senior lecturer at the University of Cambridge, told The Washington Post. This allowed researchers "to characterize risk thresholds for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease subtypes in current drinkers of alcohol", the authors wrote.

People who enjoy a tipple at the end of the day could be shortening their lives, a major new study involving 600,000 people has shown.

The researchers point out that there is no thresholds below which lower alcohol consumption stopped being associated with disease risk but that the threshold for lowest risk was 100g per week.

Even the most casual drinkers among us, including those following USA government recommendations, can see months and years taken away by steadily hitting the hooch, according to a new study by an worldwide team of researchers. But more recently, scientists have taken aim at a lot of those studies, finding their methodology deeply flawed and casting serious doubt as to whether alcohol really is some kind of miracle drug. The CDC says more than 38 million American adults admit to binge-drinking once a week and guzzle an average of eight drinks per spree.

The research, which included Australian authors and data, found that drinking more than this lowered people's life expectancy at age 40 by between six months and five years. "But above two units a day, the death rates steadily climb", explained Professor David Spiegelhalter from the University of Cambridge, who was not involved in the study.

The bottom line: "Any supposed benefits in health should be balanced against that shortened life expectancy", Wood said.

Drinking more than 100 grams of alcohol per week was linked with a lower life expectancy.

The research received widespread news coverage, including in BBC News, ITV News, Express, Evening Standard, the i and others.

In Canada, the recommended limit for alcohol consumption is no more than 10 drinks per week for women, and no more than 15 per week for men.

Although the study did find that drinking alcohol was associated with a lower risk of non-fatal heart attacks, experts said that "on balance", drinking alcohol has no health benefits.

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