Unexpectedly: scientists have found that alcohol is good for people after 40 years
No amount of alcohol is healthy for people under 40, according to a new global study, largely due to alcohol-related deaths in car crashes, injuries and homicides. However, research has shown that if you are 40 or older and have no underlying health conditions, small amounts of alcohol can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The edition told in more detail CNN.
"These diseases are the leading causes of death in a large part of the world," said study author Emmanuela Gakidou, professor of medical indicators at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
“A small amount is actually better than no alcohol at all,” she says.
The study did not find a positive effect in diseases such as tuberculosis, hypertension, arrhythmia, liver disease, epilepsy, pancreatitis and many types of cancer.
“Alcohol guidelines, both global and national, tend to highlight the difference between male and female alcohol consumption,” Gakidou said. “Our work suggests that global, national and local guidelines will be more effective if they emphasize age rather than gender.”
The findings support "the importance of alcohol recommendations tailored to specific regions and populations," said Amanda Berger, vice president of science and health for the Distilled Spirits Council of United States trade group. "But no one should drink alcohol to get the potential health benefits, and some people shouldn't drink at all."
Persons under 40 years of age are at risk
The report, published in the Lancet, is the first to report the risk of alcohol use by geographic region, age, gender and year.
The analysis looked at 30 years of data on people aged 15 to 95 from 204 countries and territories collected by the Global Burden of Disease, Injury and Risk Factors Study, which tracks premature death and disability from over 300 diseases.
The analysis estimated that in 2020, 1,34 billion people worldwide consumed harmful amounts of alcohol. More than 59% of people who consumed unsafe amounts of alcohol were between the ages of 15 and 39. More than two-thirds were men.
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In every geographic region, the study found that alcohol consumption did not provide any health benefits for people under 40, but increased the risk of injury such as car accidents, suicide and homicide.
The study defined a standard drink as 10 grams of pure alcohol, which could be a small glass of red wine (100 milliliters), a standard can (355 milliliters) or a bottle of beer (3,5% alcohol), or 1 fluid ounce (30 milliliters) of 40% alcohol.
The findings have been criticized
Some experts who were not involved in the study expressed concern about the study's findings.
The statistics show that “there are 14 times more alcohol-related deaths in the UK among 70-74 year olds than among 20-24 year olds,” said Colin Angus, senior fellow at the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group at the University of the UK.
The data "contradicts this new study's contention that we should focus on alcohol use in younger age groups," Angus said.
"The challenge with this study is the interpretation of risk based on data on cardiovascular disease, especially in the elderly," said Dr. Tony Rao, visiting researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurology, King's College. “We know that any perceived benefits of alcohol for heart and circulatory health are balanced by an increased risk of other conditions such as cancer, liver disease, and psychiatric disorders such as depression and dementia.”
A study published in March found that just one pint (0,5 L) of beer or a glass of wine a day can reduce overall brain volume, with the damage increasing as the number of drinks consumed per day increases. On average, people in their 50s who drank a pint of beer or a glass of wine a day over the past month had brains that looked two years older than those who drank only half a beer.
Studies in the US have shown that adult drinking has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among women.
“There were 41% more days when people abused alcohol,” said Sarah Wakeman, medical director of the Substance Use Disorders Initiative at Massachusetts General Hospital.
A study published in June found that many moderate drinkers over 30 drink on the weekends, defined as five or more drinks in a row or within a short period of time. Drinking an average of more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men (or five or more drinks at a time) was associated with health problems even nine years later.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, or NIAA, women are especially sensitive to the effects of alcohol. Alcohol-related problems appear earlier and at much lower levels of alcohol consumption than men.
Women are more susceptible to alcohol-related brain damage and heart disease than men. Studies show that women who drink once a day increase their risk of breast cancer by 5-9% compared to those who abstain.
“The recommendation that people under 40 should not drink at all is completely unrealistic,” Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group, an industry-funded group that regulates alcohol marketing in the UK, said in an email.
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Gakidu, senior author of the study, acknowledged that “it is unrealistic to think that young people will stop drinking. But, nevertheless, we believe it is important to report the latest data so that everyone can make informed decisions about their health.”
For those over 65, any increase in alcohol consumption is a concern because many older people are “taking medications that can interact with alcohol; their health condition may be aggravated under the influence of alcohol; they will be more prone to falls and other accidental injuries due to alcohol, ”the NIAA believes.
“There is a high threshold for saying that alcohol is an effective preventive therapy, and research still falls short of that threshold,” said Dr Nick Sheron, professor of hepatology at the University of Southampton in the UK.
"More detailed and detailed analysis"
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation last published a report on alcohol four years ago when it analyzed data on the 2016 global burden of disease for people aged 15 to 49 and found that no amount of liquor, wine or beer is safe for general health.
“What we have done in this new study is a more detailed and detailed analysis of 21 regions of the world,” explained Gakidu. — If you ask me if the message will be different in 10 years. May be. More evidence is likely to emerge. It can change our thinking."
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