Enjoying a glass of wine most nights during the week could increase your risk of an early death by 20 per cent, a new study has shown.
Drinking one or two glasses of red wine every now and then is widely thought to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease because of the beneficial antioxidants in the drink, However, new research has found drinking alcohol more than three times a week negates these benefits.
The study looked at data from 400,000 US adults aged between 18 and 85 and researchers found the increased mortality risk affected drinking age-groups differently, with people under the age of 40 less likely to die early from alcohol related problems.
“As people age, their risk of death from any cause also increases, so a 20 per cent risk increase at age 75 translates into many more deaths than it does at age 25,” said Dr Sarah Hartz, who led the research at the Washington School of Medicine.
The authors of the study suggested their findings could be used to help develop more specific age-based guidelines for acceptable drinking. Current UK guidelines recommend adults should not drink more than six medium glasses of wine or pints of beer a week.
Dr Hartz said: “Now we know that even the lightest daily drinkers have an increased mortality risk.”
She added: “If you tailor medical recommendations to an individual person, there may be situations under which you would think that occasional drinking potentially could be helpful.
“But overall, I do think people should no longer consider a glass of wine a day to somehow be healthy.”