24 de novembre 2015

Alcohol and health

Alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease, cancer, injury, admission to hospital, and mortality: a prospective cohort study

The relationship between alcohol intake and health is a complex one. A recent article in The Lancet tries to disentangle the causes and consequences:
The amount, type, and pattern of alcohol consumption can have differing associations with health outcomes. For example, low–moderate regular intake of alcohol is associated with reduced risk of myocardial infarction, whereas heavy episodic drinking is associated with sudden cardiac death.6 Risk of injury increases with extent of intoxication, whereas risk of cancer is related to the amount consumed over time.
In a study of 114.970 participants from 12 countries on the relationship between alcohol and its impact on certain diseases has allowed to understand that geographic location plays a relevant role, beyond the type of alcohol consumption. These are the results:

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In summary, the study shows that current drinking is not associated with a net health benefit. We confirm that high intake is associated with increased risk of mortality, cancer, and injury. A serious alert for spirit drinkers and a key message for an updated public health strategy. Have a look at the UK example.