The effects of modest drinking on life expectancy and mortality risks: a population-based cohort study Scientific Reports

Crystal also has a background in Medical Surgical Nursing with a specialty in orthopedic surgery from Riverside University Health System, a level 1 trauma hospital. She now has over 12 years of experience in Chemical Dependency nursing, and is currently in the process of obtaining her degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Alcohol-related liver disease, or cirrhosis, is caused when a person drinks too much alcohol for a long time. The prognosis for someone diagnosed with cirrhosis depends on whether and how much fibrosis and inflammation are present.

This means that an average of 255 Americans die from excessive drinking every day, shortening their lives by an average of 29 years. The majority of these alcohol-attributable deaths involved males, and approximately four in five deaths involved adults aged ≥35 years. The number of alcohol-attributable deaths among adults aged ≥65 years was nearly double that among adults aged 20–34 years.

Alcohol consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and mortality: A prospective cohort study

With the primary focus of the paper on the relationship between alcohol consumption and life expectancies, our findings also contribute to our understanding of the significance of alcohol consumption for population health. In the existing literature, there are only a few studies estimating healthy life expectancies by drinking status (Brønnum-Hansen et al., 2007, Klijs et al., 2011, Li et al., 2020, Mehta and Myrskylä, 2017, O’Doherty et al., 2016). Most of these studies examined a set of lifestyle factors using data from western countries, while we focus specifically on alcohol consumption. Analyzing data from a nationally representative sample in China, our estimation results also extend the current literature to a low-resource setting with rapid population aging.

Is 40 drinks a week too much?

What is considered a heavy drinker? According to the NIAAA, consuming seven or more drinks per week is considered heavy drinking for women, and 15 drinks or more per week is determined to be excessive or heavy drinking for men.

People with alcohol use disorder had higher mortality from all causes of death (mortality rate ratio, 3.0–5.2), all diseases and medical conditions (2.3–4.8), and suicide (9.3–35.9). Former drinkers in their study had a higher risk of overall mortality than lifelong abstainers, while current drinkers had a significantly lower risk. Light drinkers had a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, whereas heavy drinkers had increased mortality, particularly cancer-related deaths. Compared to non-drinkers and heavy drinkers, Zhang et al. (2021) showed light-to-moderate drinkers in the city of Tangshan had lower risks of all-cause, cardiovascular disease attributed, and cancer-attributed mortality. The comparison between non-drinkers and heavy drinkers was generally inconclusive.

Stages of Alcoholism: Early, Middle, & End-Stage Alcoholism

The exact figures on the life expectancy of an alcoholic vary and are hard to determine. One study found that people drinking more than 25 drinks a week have a shorter life expectancy by four to five years. Another study in Scandinavia concluded that people hospitalized for an alcohol use disorder had a lifespan that was 24 to 28 years fewer than the general population. In 2015, the World Health Organization also estimated that alcohol consumption was responsible for 134 million disability-adjusted life-years, a combination of years of lives lost and years lived in less than full health. The alcoholic lifespan varies so drastically because not only is it hard to quantify but also there are several factors at play.

  • Depending on the country, current guidelines (including those in the US) could allow levels of drinking high enough to shorten life expectancy.
  • A 2021 study found men with a history of alcohol charges have more than twice the risk of suicide.
  • They may only feel well when they maintain a consistent level of alcohol in their bloodstream.
  • To avoid the mixing effect of smoking and drinking, the subgroup analysis was conducted to make the results closer to real world because of the high co-use rate, 72.2% of males in our study.

Is a Licensed and Board Certified Acupuncturist that specializes in Physical Medicine and Pain Management. Rebecca has a passion for helping people reach their health goals through the most natural means possible. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Yo San University in 2008 and began her private practice in 2009. She integrates both Eastern life expectancy of an alcoholic and Western treatment modalities to insure her patients receive the highest standard of care. In her 12 years of clinical experience, her focus has been on treating chronic pain, failed surgeries, and rheumatoid conditions. She takes this knowledge and experience and uses it to best help her patients, often achieving results that her patients never thought possible.