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What Doctors Don't Tell You

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March 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 1)

Why we're told alcohol is more dangerous than it really is
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Why we're told alcohol is more dangerous than it really is image

A glass or two of alcohol can help us live longer when we reach the age of 65—but it can take years off the lives of younger drinkers, say researchers who think this explains the contradictory health advice we've been getting about drinking.

More than a third of all deaths from alcoholism happen to people aged between 20 and 49—and so when medical researchers recruit older people for their studies, the 'problem drinkers' may already have died.

As a result, modest drinking becomes a health benefit in the over-65s, and accounts for half the lives that are 'saved' through drinking, such as from improved heart health. Only 15 per cent of lives lost through excessive alcohol drinking occurs in this age group.

So, despite the dire warnings from our health guardians that even one sip of alcohol can send us to an early grave, modest drinking comes with a "relatively low risk," say researchers from the Boston Medical Center, especially as we get older.


References

(Source: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 2019; doi: 10.15288/jsad.2019.80.63)

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