Even one alcoholic drink a day capable of shortening your life considerably, study finds

Drinking red wine can lower the short-term effects of cigarette smoking
Red wine Reuters

A new study conducted by an International team of researchers has found that even one alcoholic drink a day if practiced regularly, could reduce the lifespan of users. The study which was carried out among 600,000 alcohol users found that 10 to 15 alcohol drinks a week is capable of shortening a person's life between one and two years.

The research team also warned that people who drink more than 18 drinks a week could lose four to five years of their lives. The new finding contradicts the government guidelines in the US for alcohol consumption. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association, men can safely drink two drinks a day, while women can have one.

The guideline defines one drink as 12 ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of 80 proof spirits, or four ounces of wine.

The study authors found that with every 12.5 units of alcohol people drink above the given guidelines, the chances of stroke and fatal hypertensive diseases increase by 14 and 24 percent respectively. The chances of heart failure increase by 9 percent, while the fatal aortic aneurysm gets raised by 15 percent.

Earlier, several studies have claimed that moderate drinking could reduce the chances of cardiovascular disorders, but these benefits often get wiped out with other forms of illness triggered due to alcohol consumption. Another study conducted by a Danish team of researchers have found that mild drinking three to four times a week is capable of reducing the onset of type 2 diabetes.

"This study makes clear that on balance there are no health benefits from drinking alcohol, which is usually the case when things sound too good to be true. Although non-fatal heart attacks are less likely in people who drink, this benefit is swamped by the increased risk of other forms of heart disease including fatal heart attacks and stroke," said Tim Chico, a professor of cardiovascular disease at the University of Sheffield, BBC reports.

Victoria Taylor, a senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation who partly funded the study said that the alcohol limit guidelines should act as a limit, and not a target. She also asked everyone to drink below this threshold for better health.