An extra glass of wine might shorten your life by 30 minutes

An extra glass of wine might shorten your life by 30 minutes

These sobering findings come from a massive new study published this week in The Lancet medical journal.

Higher alcohol consumption was associated with a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, fatal hypertensive disease, and fatal aneurysms.

Researchers looked at 83 studies involving 600,000 people from 19 high-income countries, with nearly half of data coming from the UK.

A major worldwide study of nearly 600,000 people found those drinking more than five 175ml glasses of wine or pints of beer each week were at greater risk of stroke, heart failure and fatal aneurysm.

Between 10 and 18 beverages a week could take off one to two years of your life expectancy, and if you have more than 18 alcoholic drinks a week, you could lose between four to five years.

Oh, and the risks are worse if you're drinking wine and you're over 40.

Those exceeding 350g of alcohol every week could shed four to five years off their life.

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"Compared to those who only drink a little, people who drink at the current United Kingdom guidelines suffer no overall harm in terms of death rates, and have 20 percent fewer heart attacks".

"We should always remember that alcohol guidelines should act as a limit, not a target and try to drink well below this threshold".

Drinking the equivalent of 12 to 21 glasses of wine per week lowers life expectancy by 1 to 2 years and drinking more than 21 glasses per week shortens life by 4 to 5 years, the study said. This works out at about an hour per day.

Tim Chico, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Sheffield, told The Guardian he wouldn't be surprised if the heaviest drinkers lost as many years of life as smokers.

They recommend a woman consumes no more than 11 standard drinks or 110g of pure alcohol each week while men are allowed up to 17 standard drinks or 170g pure alcohol a week.

United Kingdom recommendations suggest that no more than 14 units of alcohol should be consumed in a week, which is the equivalent to six pints of beer or seven glasses of wine.

But the study's lead author, Angela Wood of the University of Cambridge, noted that the benefit must be balanced against the higher risk associated with other serious, and possibly fatal, heart ailments, The Guardian said.

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