Harmful alcohol use linked with increased risk of alcohol-related cancers, injury

the ONA take:

Alcohol consumption is associated with both benefits and harms. A new study, published in The Lancet, investigated the association between alcohol use and risk for alcohol-related cancers and injuries in countries of all income levels. The findings indicate that current use is associated with increased risk of alcohol-related cancers and injuries.

Previous studies focused on high-income countries. In this study, data was culled from 12 countries at different economic levels.

The study included a total of 114,970 adults, with a median follow-up of 4.3 years and 36,030 (31%) of participants reported current drinking.

The investigators reported that a 24% reduced risk of heart attack was associated with current drinking. No reduction in risk of mortality or stroke was reported due to current drinking, but risk of alcohol-related cancers was increased 51% and risk of injury was increased 29% in current drinkers.

In addition, differences in risk for a combination of all clinical outcomes analyzed was seen between countries of different income levels.

Clinical outcomes analyzed were mortality, cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attack, cancer, injury, and admission to hospital.

Current drinking was associated with a 16% reduced risk of combined outcomes in the high-income and upper-middle-income countries, whereas this risk was increased 38% in lower-middle-income and low-income countries.

The investigators report these findings suggest the importance of alcohol as a risk factor for disease might be underestimated, and “global strategies to reduce harmful use of alcohol are essential.”

One-third of people believe alcohol is heart-healthy
Current use of alcohol is associated with increased risk of alcohol-related cancers and injuries.
A new study of alcohol use in countries of all income levels shows that current use increases the risk of alcohol-related cancers and injury, with no reduction in risk of mortality or cardiovascular disease overall. The research, published in The Lancet, supports health strategies to reduce harmful alcohol use, especially in low-income countries (LICs).
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