Under 40 Drinkers Most Likely To Experience Injuries

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Alcohol is not good for people under age 40, a new global study finds, says USA Today.

  • For people aged 15-39, booze has no health benefit.
  • Males aged 15-39 risk health loss by drinking more than 1/10th of a standard drink.
  • Females increased health risks by drinking about 1/4 of a standard drink.

Risk of Death

Even small amounts of alcohol led to increased risks of death, according to authors of the Global Burden of Diseases study, a project based at the Unversity of Washington in Seattle. The project produces comprehensive data on the causes of illness and death worldwide and concludes young people should not drink at all. However, consuming small amounts of wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages may benefit older adults. The new analysis, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, estimates that 1.34 billion people will consume harmful amounts of alcohol in 2020. 

Drinking alcohol for young adults?

Past research has suggested that alcohol lowers the risk of death from all causes at low levels of consumption. However, the Global Burden of Diseases project, which tracks epidemiological levels and trends worldwide, previously found that any level of alcohol consumption increased the risk of death.

“Our message is simple: Young people should not drink, but older people may benefit from drinking small amounts,” said Emmanuela Gakidou, University of Washington professor of health metrics sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in a news release. “While it may not be realistic to think young adults will abstain from drinking, we do think it’s important to communicate the latest evidence so that everyone can make informed decisions about their health”

How much alcohol is in a drink?

One standard drink is defined as 10 grams of pure alcohol, for the purposes of the study. Examples:

Wine. A small glass of red wine at 13% alcohol by volume.

Beer. A can or bottle at 3.5% alcohol by volume.

Spirits. A shot of whiskey or other spirits at 40% alcohol by volume.

Risk for Under 40 Adults

Of the health outcomes alcohol is associated with, people under age 40 are most likely to experience injuries, both intentional and unintentional, Dana Bryazka, a researcher at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine told USA TODAY.

“The rates of cancers and heart disease are generally low in this population,” Bryazka said. “Taking a disease-rate weighted average of the risk of alcohol use, we found that even relatively low levels of alcohol use are harmful to young people.”

What to do about alcohol consumption?

The study’s authors call for guidelines to be revised to emphasize consumption levels by ag. Stressed was, that the level of alcohol consumption recommended by many existing guidelines is too high for young people in all regions. They also call for policies targeting males under age 40, who are most likely to use alcohol harmfully. Bryazka said she’s hopeful the study’s findings get the attention of U.S. health officials“A win would be if people understand the risks they are taking with their behaviour, leading to a culture that promotes moderation in alcohol consumption,” Bryazka said.

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Source: USA Today

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