General Health

Moderate wine drinkers have a lower risk to die from any cause (lower total  mortality risk) than those who abstain or drink heavily. This widely accepted association is known as the J-curve. This J-curve is attributable to the beneficial effect on cardiovascular health which compensates the negative effects of some cancers resulting in a lower risk to die from any possible cause. The relative risk of dying is lowest among light to moderate drinkers and increased among abstainers. However, the risk increases dramatically with each drink above moderation. Thus, while one or two glasses can be considered “good for your health”, drinking more than what guidelines suggest will not provide more benefits, only more harm.

 

If consumed in excess, alcoholic beverages increase the exposure to a wide range of risk factors whereby the risk rises with the amount of alcohol consumed. Thus, it is crucial to prevent abusive consumption. Alcohol abuse is associated with a range of long-term chronic diseases that reduce the quality of life. These include hypertension, cardiovascular problems, cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol dependence, various forms of cancer, alcohol-related brain damage and a range of other problems. Not only the amount of alcohol but also the drinking patterns are important. Findings from a meta analysis support results from other studies that binge drinking is detrimental to heart health. The authors concluded that it is best for drinkers to avoid binge drinking -- not only because of the possible heart effects, but also because of more immediate risks, like accidents and violence.

 

In addition to health issues resulting from excessive alcohol consumption, there are social consequences, both for the drinker and for others in the community. The consequences include harm to family members (including children), to friends and colleagues as well as to bystanders and strangers.

 

The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.

 

 

In this paper, we investigate the relationship between alcohol consumption and psychological well-being among young adults in the United States. We do so by exploiting the discontinuity in alcohol consumption at age 21 and using a regression discontinuity design. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1997 Cohort), we document that young adults tend to increase their alcohol consumption and drink on average 1.5 days per month more once they are granted legal access to alcohol at age 21. However, we also show that in general, this discrete jump in alcohol consumption at age 21 has no statistically significant impact on several indicators of psychological well-being among young adults. This result suggests that although stricter alcohol control targeted…
BACKGROUND: In observational studies, moderate drinking is associated with a reduced risk of more than twenty different diseases and health problems. However, it would be premature to conclude that there is a causal relationship. METHOD: This paper critically reviews the evidence for such associations. FINDINGS: It was found that reasons for questioning the causal association of moderate drinking and a reduced health risk are: the lack of dose-response relationships; the characteristics and lifestyles of today's abstainers and moderate drinkers; the lack of plausible biological mechanisms; the problems in the classification of drinking groups, and; the general limitations of observational studies. CONCLUSIONS: The evidence for the harmful effects of alcohol is undoubtedly stronger than the evidence for beneficial effects.
The potential effects of alcohol intake upon the risk of psychiatric disorders have not often been investigated. The purpose of this study was to investigate, in a population sample, the association between self-reported amount of alcohol intake and the later risk of being registered in a Danish hospital with a psychiatric disorder. The prospective cohort study, the Copenhagen City Heart Study (n=18,146), was used, containing three updated sets of alcohol intake and lifestyle covariates and up to 26years follow-up. Alcohol intake was measured by self-report while psychiatric disorders were measured through registers. For women, the overall pattern showed that drinking above the sensible limits increased the risk of psychiatric disorders in general, especially for anxiety disorders where women drinking above…
PURPOSE: To examine the association between alcohol use and self-reported health status. In particular, we sought to determine whether moderate drinkers are more likely to self-report above-average health status compared with other current drinkers, former drinkers, and lifetime abstainers. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Continental United States. SUBJECTS: The sample adult component of the 2002 U.S. National Health Interview Survey (n = 31,044), representative of the U.S. noninstitutionalized civilian household population. MEASURES: Dichotomous measure of above-average self-reported health status relative to all other health states. Several measures characterized alcohol use patterns (i.e., continuous and categorical measure of alcohol use, a proxy measure of problem drinking, former drinking, lifetime abstaining). Chronic health conditions and various demographic and lifestyle factors were included as…
Little evidence exists regarding associations between age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and moderate alcohol consumption, patterns of consumption, or different types of alcoholic beverage. The authors examined associations between AMD prevalence and alcohol intake using 20,963 participants from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study aged 40-69 years at baseline (1990-1994). Participants' alcohol consumption was determined from a structured interview at baseline. At follow-up from 2003 to 2007, digital macula photographs of both eyes were taken and evaluated for early and late AMD signs. Drinking more than 20 g of alcohol per day was associated with an approximate 20% increase in the odds of early AMD (odds ratio = 1.21, 95% confidence interval: 1.06, 1.38; P = 0.004) when compared with those who…

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The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer.