Alcohol is not good for people under age 40, According to a new global study

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Alcohol consumption is linked with mortality for all people under age 40 but is especially dangerous for young people. Alcohol is not good for people under age 40, a new global study finds.

There is a myth that consuming small amounts of alcohol may benefit older adults, an analysis at the University of Washington project concluded. However, consuming small amounts of wine, beer, or other alcoholic beverages may be dangerous for younger people; hence we should not drink alcohol. The study challenges the myth that young and older adults should consume alcohol moderately, but the evidence doesn’t support such a recommendation. Mild alcohol consumption could increase death rates across all ages, with the most pronounced effects in the young.

The new analysis by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation shows that 1.34 billion people consumed harmful alcohol in 2020.

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Are there health benefits in drinking for young adults?

While research had suggested that when closely monitored, moderate levels of alcohol consumption decrease the risk of death from all causes, previous studies indicate that people with average levels of consumption have an increased risk of death. This has been true around the globe until new findings.

Did lead the researchers to continue the study of alcohol’s health effects. Embedded, there are a few essential things worth understanding.

► For people ages 15–39, there is no health benefit to drinking booze, only health risks, according to the study released Thursday.

►Males aged 15-39 risked health loss by drinking a little more than one-tenth of a standard drink, while women increased health risks by drinking about 1/4 of traditional glass, researchers said. 

►About 6 in 10 (59%) people who consumed unsafe amounts of alcohol in 2020 were between the ages of 15 and 39. Nearly 77% of them were male. 

► For those older than 40, consuming a small amount of alcohol (for example, drinking between one and two 3.4-ounce glasses of red wine daily) for people in this age group can provide some health benefits, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. But health risks vary by age and region, researchers said.

“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 10 grams of pure alcohol for the study. Examples:

Wine. A small glass of red wine (100ml or 3.4 fluid ounces) at 13% alcohol by volume.

Beer. A can or bottle (375 ml or 12 fluid ounces) at 3.5% alcohol by volume.

Spirits. A shot of whiskey or other spirits (30 ml or 1.0 fluid ounces) at 40% alcohol by volume.

How does alcohol increase risks for adults under 40?

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, says

“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.”

Is moderate drinking linked to a longer life?

A new study contradicts previous findings that link moderate alcohol consumption to health benefits and longer life. The researchers found that those who abstain from alcohol may have a higher mortality rate because of risky behaviors earlier in life. The study also shows that people who abstain from alcohol and have no other risk factors, such as smoking or poor self-reported health, are not statistically more likely to die early than those with low to moderate alcohol intake.

Some recent studies have linked moderate alcohol consumption to health benefits, such as lower sources of cardiovascular disease. Other studies tout potential health benefits of drinking wine and tequila.

However, the results of a new study from the University of Greifswald in Germany contradict the idea of drinking alcohol to protect health.

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