Health

Four drink-free days a week could help you live longer

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Having three or four drink-free days a week could help you live longer. Drinking every day—even if it's just one glass of wine—raises the risk of premature death by 20 per cent, and that starts to get significant when you're in your 70s.

Having a glass or two of wine three days a week helps protect against cardiovascular disease, but these benefits are undone if you drink every day, say researchers.

 

A recent study that grabbed the headlines concluded that any alcohol is bad for you, but that included people who are heavy drinkers. So researchers from Washington University took a closer look at light drinkers—people drinking one or two drinks a day—which included more than 340,000 people aged between 18 and 85.

Overall, people who drink a little every day raise their risk of premature death by 20 per cent compared to others who drink less frequently, which is no big deal when you're in your 20s, but it starts to get significant by the time you reach your 70s, the researchers say.

Drinking every day raises the risk of cancer, although the risk is there to some extent even if you have drink-free days.

(Source: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 2018; doi: 10.1111/acer.13886)

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