Moderate Levels of Alcohol Consumption: An Unequivocal Public Health Message? (BBC News / Lancet)

Summary

Meta-analysis of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (2016)’s 694 data sources, plus 592 other studies, suggests strongly that alcohol consumption is a leading risk factor for disease burden worldwide. Alcohol consumption may account for 10% of global deaths among persons 15-49 years of age. While moderate levels of drinking may protect against cardiovascular disease and cognitive impairment, the GBD researchers conclude that the risks of cancer / other diseases and accidents arising from alcohol outweigh these potential benefits.

“ …the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimises health loss is zero”.

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Reference

Ives, L. (2018). No alcohol safe to drink, global study confirms. London: BBC Health News, August 24th 2018.

This relates to:

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Reference

GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators (2018). Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet. August 23rd 2018. [Epub ahead of print].

A sense of perspective concerning excessively-puritanical public health messages?

“There is no safe level of driving, but the government does not recommend that people avoid driving. …there is no safe level of living, but nobody would recommend abstention”. Professor David Spiegelhalter: Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk, University of Cambridge.

Drinking as the New Smoking?

Stretching the putative equation between smoking and alcohol consumption, with regard to cancer risk:

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Reference

How many cigarettes in a bottle of wine? London: BBC Health News, March 28th 2019.

This relates to:

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Reference

Hydes, TJ. Burton, R. [and] Inskip, H. [et al] (2019). A comparison of gender-linked population cancer risks between alcohol and tobacco: how many cigarettes are there in a bottle of wine? BMC Public Health. March 28th 2019; 19(1): 316.

The Drink-Free Days Campaign Urges People Between Ages of 45 – 65 to Take Regular “Drink-Free” Days

The Drink Free Days campaign is a partnership between Public Health England and the Drinkaware alcohol education charity.

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Reference

Ives, L. (2018). Middle-aged should have ‘drink-free’ days, say campaigners. London: BBC Health News, September 10th 2018.

This relates to:

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Public Health England and Drinkaware launch Drink Free Days. [Online]: Public Health England (PHE), September 10th 2018.

Ideological purists express concerns about PHE’s participation with a charity funded by the alcohol industry.

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Reference

Buchanan, M. (2018). Experts attack health agency’s ties to drink industry. London: BBC Health News, September 13th 2018.

World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2018

International comparisons on the subject of alcohol use and harms, with country profiles for WHO Member States:

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Reference

Global status report on alcohol and health 2018. Geneva: World Health Organization; September 2018. ISBN 978-92-4-156563-9.

Recent Reductions in Alcohol Consumption?

Abstention an increasing trend, particularly among the young?

“ …the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds who do not drink alcohol has increased from 18% in 2005 to 29% in 2015”.

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Reference

Under-25s turning their backs on alcohol, study suggests. London: BBC Health News, October 10th 2018.

Generation sensible?

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Reference

‘Generation Sensible’ in five charts. London: BBC News, July 19th 2018.

Possibly of interest:

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Reference

Duffy, M. (2018). Is it worth giving up alcohol for a month? London: BBC Health News, October 3rd 2018.

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About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
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