Study Suggests Even Light Drinking May Shorten Your Lifespan

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Trending News: You may have to rethink that daily glass of wine for health reasons.

SHORT STORY

A new study reveals even light drinking is bad for your health.

LONG STORY

Do you drink a glass of wine each night for health reasons? Have you heard that light alcohol use may hold certain cardiovascular benefits? Hoping to make smarter health choices?

If the answer is yes, you may find the results of a recently published study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research to be of interest.

Investigators with Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) in St. Louis reviewed data from more than 400,000 people ages 18 to 85.

The research team discovered that drinking one to two drinks four or more times per week increased the risk of premature death by 20%, compared with drinking three times a week or less. Additionally, investigators noticed the increased risk of death was consistent among all age groups.

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Curious to know more about this research, Guy Counseling spoke to lead investigator, Sarah Hartz, MD, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at WUSM.

“This study is the first to show that daily drinking is dangerous. Specifically, drinking four or more times weekly, even if it’s only 1-2 drinks at a time, increases risk of mortality.

This is in line with recent studies published in the Lancet, but we were able to break down their lowest drinking categories (up to 12.5 drinks weekly in one and up to 5.6 drinks weekly in the other) and found that the frequency is important, not just the average number of drinks per week.

It looks like the increased mortality is predominantly due to cancer-related deaths,” said Hartz.

Related: How booze makes depression worse

We wanted to know if the study examined different types of alcoholic drinks, such as whiskey versus beer. Hartz shared with us the study didn’t differentiate.

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.

“It used to seem like having one or two drinks per day was no big deal, and there even have been some studies suggesting it can improve health. But now we know that even the lightest daily drinkers have an increased mortality risk,” said Hartz in a press release about the findings.

Well, there you have it, folks. You may want to rethink that nightly glass of wine you use to chillax. Apparently, even light drinking may send you to an early grave.

Do you have one or two drinks each day? Do you have a nightly glass of wine for health reasons? 

About John D. Moore 346 Articles
Dr. John Moore is a licensed counselor and Editor-in-Chief of Guy Counseling. A journalist and blogger, he writes about a variety of topics related to wellness. His interests include technology, outdoor activities, science, and men's health. Check out his show --> The Men's Self Help Podcast