moms who drink

Well, This Sucks: More Than 5 Drinks a Week Could Shorten Your Life by Years

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I thought we talked about this, science?! We only like you when you tell us things that improve our lives as we currently live them. We don’t need anymore nonsense about cutting calories and drinking too much. I want to love you, science, but you keep breaking my heart! A new study is questioning the current drinking guidelines, and the news isn’t great. According to this study, having more than 5 drinks a week can take years off your life. Which, given the current state of affairs, could be good or bad.

Data from the international study shows that imbibing more than 5 drinks a week may be shortening your lifespan. Previous research and current guidelines say two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women is considered safe.

This new study followed the drinking habits of 600,000 people in 19 countries. Participants were asked about drinking habits going as far back as 1964. Researchers followed the subjects for years after the initial interviews. What they found was that participants who reported drinking more had higher rates of serious health issues, like stroke, heart disease, dangerously high blood pressure, and deadly aortic aneurysms.

Researchers estimate that a 40-year-old having more than four drinks above recommended guidelines a day had a shorter life expectancy by approximately two years.

David Spiegelhalter is a risk expert at Britain’s University of Cambridge. He was not involved in the study, but based on the data, he says, “This works out at about an hour per day. So it’s as if each unit above guidelines is taking, on average, about 15 minutes of life, about the same as a cigarette. Of course it’s up to individuals whether they think this is worthwhile.”

According to researchers, the most the average person can drink without doing significant damage to their health is roughly five glasses of wine per week (or the equivalent). So, I guess … we decide? Ugh. THANKS SCIENCE.

(Image: iStock / nixki)