The team analyzed the data from 340,668 National Health Interview Survey participants ages 18 to 85 and additional 93,653 participants ages 40 to 60 who were treated as outpatients at Veterans Administration clinics in the United States.
Although the study did find an association, it did not prove that light drinking caused early death risk to rise.
"Some studies have argued that one to two drinks a day is not bad or they can even do good health".
"It used to seem like having one or two drinks per day was no big deal, and there even have been some studies suggesting it can improve health", said Sarah M. Hartz, MD, PhD, first author of the new research.
Researchers at the University of Arizona School of Medicine have previously stated that drinking wine within safe limits can promote good cardiovascular health and prevent cognitive decline.
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While Hartz acknowledges that there may be situations in which "occasional drinking potentially could be helpful" depending on a person's individual health history, she says that the general idea that a glass or two of wine is healthy is misguided. Heart disease cancer risks were evaluated and it was found in some cases light drinking may reduce risk of some heart related problems, but the same light drinking increased risk of cancer and mortality risks.
For their study, Dr Hartz and team analysed data of over 400,000 United States adults between 18 and 85 years of age and found that there is a 20 per cent higher risk of an early death from any cause when people drank more than three days a week. She concluded that light drinking is indeed boosting risks of premature death by triggering some deadly diseases like cancer. The increased mortality death remained consistent throughout all age groups included in the study.
Drinking every day, even if it just a glass of wine "substantially" increases the risk of premature death and its supposed health benefits have been grossly overstated, a new study has found.
"With regard to cancer risk, any drinking at all was detrimental". The authors pointed out that drinkers in their 20s and 30s whose mortality rates are actually lower might not be particularly concerned about a 20 per cent increase in this risk, it could help inform age-targeted drinking guidance.
"Overall, I do think people should no longer consider a glass of wine a day to somehow be healthy", Hartz says. Additional funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The School of Medicine is a leader in medical research, teaching and patient care, ranking among the top 10 medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.