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13 April 2018, 01:36 | Melissa Porter
The recommended alcohol limit in Italy and Spain is almost 50 per cent higher than in the UK
"We should always remember that alcohol guidelines should act as a limit, not a target, and try to drink well below this threshold".
"But above two units a day, the death rates climb".
"This study provides clear evidence to support lowering the recommended limits of alcohol consumption in many countries around the world", co-author Professor Edoardo Casiglia said in the conclusion of the report.
The research found that people who reported weekly drinking of 100-200g, 200-350g or more than 350g had an estimated lower life expectancy at age 40 years of approximately 6 months, 1-2 years, or 4-5 years, respectively.
The study said those who consume more than that increase their risk of stroke and heart failure and can expect to die sooner than those who drink less.
United Kingdom guidelines were changed in 2016 to 14 units every week for men and women, lower than the limits in Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Drinking more than six glasses of wine or cans of beer a week reduces your life expectancy, according to the one of the largest-ever studies on global alcohol consumption.
In the U.S., for example, the guidelines for men set an upper limit of nearly 25 units. For instance, Spain and Romania set the upper limit for men at the equivalent of 20 drinks each week. None had a known history of cardiovascular disease.
"Doctors and other healthcare professionals must heed this message and transmit it to their patients".
"This study completely overlooks the well-documented health benefits light to moderate enjoyment of alcohol brings", said James Calder, head of communications for the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).
"These recommended drinking levels will no doubt be described as implausible and impracticable by the alcohol industry and other opponents of public health warnings on alcohol".
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