"Although the health risks associated with alcohol starts off being small with one drink a day, they then rise rapidly as people drink more", lead author Dr Max Griswold, from the University of Washington, commented. Some scientists are now saying none. Additionally, approximately 12 percent of all deaths for males between the ages of 15 and 49 were alcohol related.
Published today in The Lancet, the paper, by the Bill Gates Foundation-funded Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, in its own words: "generated improved estimates of alcohol use and alcohol-attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 195 locations from 1990 to 2016, for both sexes and for 5-year age groups between the ages of 15 years and 95 years and older".
Bad news for those who enjoy what they think is a healthy glass of wine a day.
Those deaths include alcohol-related cancers and cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, intentional injury such as violence and self-harm, and traffic accidents, just to name a few.
According to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington women here come seventh in the world for the amount they drink every day. "Any of these policy actions would contribute to reductions in population-level consumption, a vital step toward decreasing the health loss associated with alcohol use", she added.
For people who had two alcoholic drinks a day, 63 more developed a condition within a year and for those who consumed five drinks every day, there was an increase of 338 people, who developed a health problem.
Specifically, for people who consume one drink a day, the risk of develop one of 23 alcohol-related health problems increases by 0.5 percent over one year, compared with someone who doesn't drink. Romanian men drink the most on average - 8.2 drinks a day - and Pakistani men the least, just 0.0007 drinks a day; Ukrainian women have the highest average daily consumption - 4.2 drinks - and Iranian women the lowest, at 0.0003 drinks per day.
What's more, any protective health effects of alcohol were offset by the drink's risk, including strong links between alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer and injuries such as auto accidents. They were responsible for 27.1 per cent of alcohol-related deaths of women and 18.9 per cent of men.
Any protection alcohol may provide against heart disease is outweighed by the health problems it causes, particularly cancer, according to the authors of the study, published August 23 in The Lancet.
"However, studies have shown that India has a large number of heavy drinkers - more than 75 ml/day or nearly every day of the week".
'Presumably people who choose to drink alcohol moderately get some pleasure from it, and any risk needs to be traded off against this enjoyment, ' he said.
Going teetotal is the only way to avoid risking health with alcohol, scientists have claimed.
Based on their analysis, the authors suggest that there is no safe level of alcohol as any health benefits of alcohol are outweighed by its adverse effects on other aspects of health, particularly cancers.
The risk climbs in a steep "J-curve", the study found.
"The take-home message being that people shouldn't drink under the belief that it will lower their risk of disease", he said, "and those of us who opt to drink should minimize our intake if we wish to prolong our life and well-being".