Study: Drinking “any amount” of alcohol increases the risk of developing about 60 diseases
New research published yesterday (Thursday) in the journal “Nature Medicine” showed that drinking any amount of alcohol can increase the risk of developing at least one of more than 60 diseases, according to the “New York Post”.
Oxford University researchers studied the effects of alcohol on men in China, and found that even occasional drinkers were more likely to develop certain conditions, including more than 30 diseases previously not linked to alcohol.
“Alcohol consumption is negatively associated with a wider range of diseases than previously identified, and our findings show that these associations are likely to be causal,” said the study’s lead author Beck KM, an Oxford researcher.
The 512,000 study participants, 41 percent of whom were men, were recruited from 10 regions across China.
33 percent of men admitted to drinking alcohol at least once a week, while only 2 percent of women said they drink alcohol regularly.
Of the men who drink alcohol, 62 percent reported drinking daily and 37 percent admitted to engaging in frequent drinking.
After following up for 12 years, the team of researchers found that drinking alcohol was associated with an increased risk of 61 diseases in men.
Among the diseases, 28 were previously linked to alcohol use, such as esophageal cancer, liver disease and diabetes. But the remaining 33 had not been previously identified as alcohol-related diseases, including stomach and lung cancer, stomach ulcers and gout.
Certain drinking patterns, such as adopting a habit every day, also increase the risk.
“It is becoming clear that the harmful use of alcohol is one of the most important risk factors for poor health, both in China and globally,” said study author Iona Millwood, associate professor at Oxford University’s Population Health Department.
Drinking alcohol – even in moderation – has been linked to negative health consequences, including some types of cancer and even early death. However, an estimated 63 percent of Americans continue to drink alcohol.
And in January, the Canadian Center on Drug Abuse and Addiction revealed updated health guidelines for drinking – a concern for people with a habit. Canadian officials stated that “no amount or type of alcohol is good for your health,” even “a small amount.”