Medical News Today

Drinking alcohol is one of America’s biggest pastimes. While several studies in the past have pointed to health benefits from having one or two drinks per day, new research suggests that no amount of alcohol is considered healthy.

The Dangers Of Drinking

Obviously drinking heavily can lead to a variety of health issues, ranging from high blood pressure to heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and more. But now, new research is suggesting that even having one alcoholic beverage each day may put your health at risk.

The study, which involved 195 countries from 1990 to 2016, analyzed nearly 600 pieces of research to figure out just how dangerous drinking alcohol can be. The research concluded that even having just one drink a day for an entire year will increase the incidence of alcohol-related health problems from 914 per 100,000 to 918 per 100,000.

Is Not Drinking Realistic?

The risks of drinking, according to the study, included negative health outcomes such as car accidents, suicides, tuberculosis, liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular disease, a number of different cancers, and more. In addition, the study concluded about 2.8 million deaths worldwide can be attributed to alcohol annually. However, not all experts are convinced that alcohol is all that bad for us.

“Claiming there is no ‘safe’ level does not seem an argument for abstention,” said David Spiegelhalter, a statistician at Cambridge University in England. “There is no safe level of driving, but governments do not recommend that people avoid driving.”

Surprising Health Risks

The study suggests drinking moderately can be dangerous, and the results shocked researchers. “The main difference between alcohol and smoking is that no one is surprised that smoking is bad,” said the lead author, Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington. “But there’s a lot of surprise, even among experts, that alcohol is as bad for you as it is.”

For now, it seems like the general consensus is to drink at your own risk. Moderation is key when it comes to any behavior that may pose a risk.