Light alcohol drinkers are at the lowest risk of death and cancer- study

It is already known to all that drinking invites cancer and death. According to a recent study performed by a group of researchers, heavy and frequent drinkers are at the highest risk of acquiring cancer. However, the new study has also found out that the risk of cancer and death is very less among the people who are light drinkers (those who consume 1-3 alcoholic drinks every week). This risk tends to hike with every additional alcoholic drink taken per week.

The study reportedly pointed out a lower risk of cancer and overall mortality among light drinkers in comparison to the people who do not drink at all. Researcher Andrew Kunzmann at the Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, said in a statement, “We had expected light drinkers to be at a similar combined risk to never drinkers, so the reduced risk in light drinkers was surprising.” Further, Kunzmann, the lead author of the study said, “The reasons for the reduced risk in light drinkers compared to never drinkers are still open to debate amongst the scientific community. Some have suggested that alcohol may have cardio-protective effects that may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.” As said by Kunzmann, the other debaters have pointed out that “light drinkers may be at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease for other reasons, as light drinkers tend to be wealthier and more health-conscious in other ways.”

As a part of this study, around 99,654 subjects aged between 55 to 74 were taken from the U.S. The subjects filled in a questionnaire on their diet history that analyzed their alcohol intake. According to the inferences of this survey, the approximate lifetime alcohol consumption among adults was reported to be 1.78 drinks/ week, with 4.02 drinks/ week among the men and 0.80 drinks/ week among the women. As per the data, those subjects who took less than 0.5 drinks/ day, were at the lowest risk of death and acquiring cancer.  The amount of alcohol intake throughout a lifetime showed J-shaped relationship with respect to the overall mortality. The people who never took any alcoholic drink were at a bit higher threat and the people who took more than 0.5 drinks a day were at a much higher threat.

The findings of this study were published on Tuesday 19th June in the PLOS Medicine journal.

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