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Extra glass of wine, beer takes 30 minutes off your life

16 April 2018

The results have been compiled by combing over the findings of 83 studies conducted in 19 high income countries worldwide.

A 40-year-old drinking half a dozen 6 ounce glasses of wine a week is considered a safe limit, researchers said. Since the researchers are in the United Kingdom, they worked with the UK's drinking recommendations, which were lowered in 2016 to no more than 14 units of alcohol each week, or six pints of beer or six glasses of wine. If you don't drink wine, substitute a can of beer or a shot of liquor for each glass.

Even a daily glass of wine or pint of beer significantly raises the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The study found that a heightened alcohol consumption was linked to a greater chance of stroke, heart failure, and fatal aneurysm.

Figures increase if more alcohol is consumed, with those who drink 18 or more drinks a week, losing up to five years of life.

The proposed new limits - based on an analysis of data from almost 600,000 drinkers in 19 countries - are significantly lower than the HSE's current guidelines.

Lead author Dr Angela Wood said: 'The key message of this research is that if you already drink alcohol, drinking less may help you live longer and lower your risk of several cardiovascular conditions'.

Likewise someone consuming 100-200g per week or 200-350g per week shaved an estimated six months or one to two years of their life expectancy.

Professor Naveed Sattar, co-author of the study and an expert in cardiovascular science at Glasgow University, said: "This study provides clear evidence to support lowering the recommended limits of alcohol consumption in many countries around the world".

Jeremy Pearson, an associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which part-funded the study, called it "a serious wake-up call for many countries". There was also a recent study that found drinking can be a benefit for individuals over the age of 90.

One resident of Shelton, commented: "I would say it's fairly accurate, but it's probably not going to affect my drinking habits for the next five years whilst I'm still at University".

In contrast, drinking more was associated with a lower risk of non-fatal heart attacks.

Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said the study seemed to "broadly reinforce" Government guidelines. "This works out at about an hour per day". It relied on self-reported drinking habits and didn't take into account the effect of alcohol over the course of a person's life, for example.

Extra glass of wine, beer takes 30 minutes off your life