Wine warning: couple of glasses a night shortens life by two years

Drinking more than five glasses of wine a week could knock years off life, study suggests

United Kingdom recommendations suggest that no more than 14 units of alcohol should be consumed in a week, which is the equivalent to six pints of beer or seven glasses of wine.

The study included data from almost 600,000 current drinkers included in 83 studies carried out in 19 countries.

They recommend a woman consumes no more than 11 standard drinks or 110g of pure alcohol each week while men are allowed up to 17 standard drinks or 170g pure alcohol a week.

One resident of Shelton, commented: "I would say it's fairly accurate, but it's probably not going to affect my drinking habits for the next five years whilst I'm still at University".

Drinking as little as an extra glass of wine a night could shorten your life by thirty minutes according to a new study. Consuming two bacon sandwiches a week or sitting watching a hour of television per day is statistically more unsafe for long-term health. "Above two units a day, the death rates steadily climb", said David Spiegelhalter, Winton professor for the public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge.

'Of course it's up to individuals whether they think this is worthwhile'.

But there is a benefit to drinking alcohol.

Saint-Émilion, France, April 10.

Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said the study seemed to "broadly reinforce" Government guidelines. The recommended upper limit for alcohol intake also exceeded seven drinks per week in countries like Italy, Portugal and Spain.

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Alcohol is linked to a host of health complaints including heart problems, liver disease, several types of cancer and dementia.

The risk of stroke, heart failure, fatal high blood pressure, and a fatal aortic aneurysm - when one of the body's major blood vessels ruptures - decreased in line with reductions in alcohol consumption.

For these conditions, there were no clear risk thresholds below which lower alcohol consumption stopped being associated with lower disease risk. "This is a serious wakeup call for many countries", said Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, which helped fund the research.

"Alcohol consumption is associated with a slightly lower risk of nonfatal heart attacks, but this must be balanced against the higher risk associated with other serious-and potentially fatal- cardiovascular diseases", cautioned lead study author Angela Wood from the University of Cambridge.

Spiegelhalter said it was "a massive and very impressive study".

A 40-year-old who drank up to twice that amount (100 to 200g) cut their life expectancy by six months. All participants had been recruited between 1964 and 2010 with a minimum 12 month follow-up, and none had a known history of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers found that even the UK's current guideline weekly limit of 14 units is too much.

The researchers have suggested that recommended alcohol limits should now be reduced down to 12.5 units a week.

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