Alcohol consumption carries significant health risks, except elder people might have benefits
Young people face higher health risks from alcohol consumption than older adults, according to a new analysis published in The Lancet. This is the first study to report alcohol risk by geographical region, age, sex, and year. It suggests that global alcohol consumption recommendations should be based on age and location, with the strictest guidelines targeted toward males between ages 15-39, who are at the greatest risk of harmful alcohol consumption worldwide.
The analysis suggests that for young adults ages 15-39, there are no health benefits to drinking alcohol, only health risks, with 59.1% of people who consumed unsafe amounts of alcohol in 2020 between ages 15-39 years and 76.7% male.
The research also indicates that adults aged 40 and older without underlying health conditions may see some benefits from small alcohol consumption, including a reduced risk in cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. For adults over age 40, health risks from alcohol consumption vary by age and region. Consuming a small amount of alcohol (for example, drinking between one and two 3.4-ounce glasses of red wine) for people in this age group can provide some health benefits, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Authors call for alcohol consumption guidelines to be revised to emphasise consumption levels by age, stressing that the level of alcohol consumption recommended by many existing guidelines is too high for young people in all regions. They also call for policies targeting males under age 40, who are most likely to use alcohol harmfully.
Researchers ended that young people should not drink, but older people may benefit from drinking small amounts. While it may not be realistic to think young adults will abstain from drinking, we do think it's important to communicate the latest evidence so that everyone can make informed decisions about their health.
Reference: "THE LANCET: Alcohol consumption carries significant health risks and no benefits for young people some older adults may benefit from drinking a small amount of alcohol"; THE LANCET.
B.Sc Life Sciences, M.Sc Biotechnology, B.Ed