British women among the world's biggest drinkers (with men 62nd)

Zero tolerance no safe level of alcohol study says

Overall, drinking was the seventh leading risk factor for premature death and disease in 2016, accounting for just over two percent of deaths in women and almost seven percent in men.

"However, studies have shown that India has a large number of heavy drinkers - more than 75 ml/day or nearly every day of the week". Drinking five drinks a day increased the statistic to 37 per cent.

The report did acknowledge that there was a body of evidence to show that moderate drinking did offer protection against certain diseases, especially cardiovascular ones, but ultimately concluded that the risks of cancers and other illnesses outweighed these benefits.

With regards to the methodology that was used, researchers analysed the impact of alcohol on 23 health conditions and alcohol-related risks on people between the ages of 15 and approximately 95 for the year 2016. The highest number of alcohol drinkers is in Denmark (95.3 per cent women and 97.1 per cent men) while the lowest are in Pakistan for men (0.8 per cent) and Bangladesh for women (0.3 per cent).

Researchers said that there is no safe level of alcohol as beneficial effects against ischemic heart disease are outweighed by the adverse effects on other areas of health, particularly cancers.

For all ages, alcohol was associated with 2.8 million deaths that year. For people over 50, cancers were a leading cause of alcohol-related death. The greatest proportion of alcohol-related deaths among young people were through self-harm, road injuries or tuberculosis.

Men in Romania who partake knocked back a top-scoring eight drinks a day on average, with Portugal, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Ukraine just behind at seven "units" per day. An extra four people would be affected if those non-drinkers had one drink per day. A standard alcohol drink was defined as one containing 10 grams of alcohol.

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Of the more than 2 billion people around the world consume alcohol, about 63 percent are men, the researchers wrote.

The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Agriculture, suggests women have no more than one drink daily and men have no more than two. "If you are going to drink, educate yourself about the risks, and take an informed risk".

"Alcohol poses dire ramifications for future population health in the absence of policy action today", Emmanuela Gakidou, professor of global health at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and study co-author, said in a statement.

They estimate that consuming just one drink per day increases the risk of developing one of 23 alcohol-related health problems by 0.5 per cent, compared with not drinking at all.

Drinking patterns vary globally. So while some moderate drinkers might never experience health problems from drinking, "if you look at all the risks and all the benefits of alcohol, it's probably net harmful, on average, for the whole population", he says.

"I think this is actually consistent with every organization's recommendation that, overall, no one should start drinking to prevent heart disease or diabetes", Mozaffarian says.

But the risk increases rapidly the more people drink.

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