Researchers at Oxford University said 4,600 more lives would be saved every year if people in England were to reduce their intake of alcohol. “People who justify their drinking with he idea that it is good for heart disease should also consider how alcohol is increasing their risk of other chronic diseases. A couple of pints or a couple of glasses of wine per day is not a healthy option,” said Dr. Melanie Nichols of the BHF Health Promotion Research Group, in the Department of Public Health at Oxford University.
Several research studies have looked at the effect of alcohol intake on heart disease, liver disease, and cancers, but these have only studied the connections on an individual basis. For this study, however, Nichols and her colleagues looked to find the optimum daily intake of alcohol that would result in the fewest number of deaths in England from diseases known to be directly connected to alcohol use.
The 11 diseases included five cancers, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver, epilepsy and diabetes. In 2006, these 11 diseases caused over 170,000 deaths in England. Limiting the alcohol intake to just over half a unit a day would prevent around 4,579 premature deaths, or about 3 percent of all deaths attributed to the 11 diseases. Binge drinking is also a huge problem in England, especially among teenagers and young adults.
Moderating your alcohol consumption overall, and avoiding heavy-drinking episodes, is one of several things, alongside a healthy diet and regular physical activity, that you can to reduce your risk of dying early of chronic diseases,” said Nichols.