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Encyclopedia > Alcohol consumption and health
Alcohol consumption and health
Alcohol and cancer
Alcohol and cardiovascular disease
Alcohol and weight
Alcoholic liver disease
Alcoholism
Effects of alcohol on the body
Fetal alcohol syndrome


The relationship between alcohol consumption and health has been the subject of formal scientific research since at least 1926, when Dr. Raymond Pearl published his book, Alcohol and Longevity, in which he reported his finding that drinking alcohol in moderation was associated with greater longevity than either abstaining or drinking heavily.[1] Since that time Considerable evidence suggests a connection between heavy alcohol consumption and increased risk for cancer, with an estimated 2 to 4 percent of all cancer cases thought to be caused either directly or indirectly by alcohol[1] indicates the NIAAA.[2] 3. ... The subject of alcohol and heart attacks is important because the major cause of death in many countries is heart disease. ... Alcohol and weight is a subject relevant to millions of people who like to drink alcoholic beverages and who also either want to maintain or to lose body weight. ... Alcoholism is the consumption of, or preoccupation with, alcoholic beverages to the extent that this behavior interferes with the drinkers normal personal, family, social, or work life, and may lead to physical or mental harm. ... The effects of alcohol on the human body can take several forms. ... Fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS is a disorder of permanent birth defects that occurs in the offspring of women who drink alcohol during pregnancy. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The relationship between alcohol consumption and health has been the subject of formal scientific research since at least 1926, when Dr. Raymond Pearl published his book, Alcohol and Longevity, in which he reported his finding that drinking alcohol in moderation was associated with greater longevity than either abstaining or drinking... A scientific method or process is considered fundamental to the scientific investigation and acquisition of new knowledge based upon physical evidence. ... Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Raymond Pearl (3 June 1879 - 17 November 1940) was an American biologist, who spent most of his career at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. ...

  • “Data have come in from all over the world. Studies have focused on both men and women, various age groups, and people of many ethnic groups. The conclusion remains the same: those who drink moderately live longer and have less risk of developing heart disease than those who abstain from alcohol. Published papers now total in the many hundreds." [2] [3] [4][5].
  • To determine if moderate drinkers have fewer heart attacks because they might lead more healthful lifestyles than do abstainers or heavy drinkers, Harvard scientists recently reported their study of only healthy men who led healthful lifestyles. For up to 16 years the doctors monitored the health of 8,867 men who didn't smoke, were of normal weight, exercised at least 30-60 minutes per day, and ate a balanced healthful diet. Among these healthy men with healthy lifestyles, those who consumed anywhere from 1/2 to two alcoholic drinks of beer, wine or liquor per day had significantly decreased risk of heart attacks. Those who averaged slightly more (one to two drinks per day) had the lowest risk. This study strongly suggests that the beneficial effects of drinking alcohol in moderation comes from the alcohol itself rather than from differences in lifestyle [6] Other research also addresses this question.
  • Another study found that when men increased their alcohol intake from very low to moderate, they significantly reduced their risk of coronary heart disease. The study monitored the health of 18,455 males for a period of seven years. [7]
  • Much evidence is not simply correlational or time sequence in nature. Some of the many specific ways by which alcohol leads to improved cardiovascular health are now understood, often in great detail. [9]

Such widely different types of evidence based on different methodologies largely rule out the possibility that some factor or factors other than the alcohol itself is causing the significant reductions in fatalities found among moderate drinkers around the world.


While it is widely recognized that alcoholism has negative health effects, moderate consumption, frequently defined as the consumption of 1-4 alcoholic drinks in a day (depending on the age and gender of the subjects) has been found in much research to have a positive effect on longevity[10] (Doll & Peto). See the main article Recommended maximum intake of alcoholic beverages for a list of governments' guidances on alcohol intake which, for a man, range from 140 to 280g per week. Alcoholism is the consumption of, or preoccupation with, alcoholic beverages to the extent that this behavior interferes with the drinkers normal personal, family, social, or work life, and may lead to physical or mental harm. ... Longevity is a term that generally refers to long life or great duration of life.[1] Reflections on longevity have usually gone beyond acknowledging the basic shortness of human life and have included thinking about methods to extend life. ... This article summarizes the recommended maximum intake (or safe limits) of alcohol as recommended by the health agencies of various governments. ...


However, some research suggests to some that the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption may not be large enough or certain enough to recommend to those who do not already drink, even if not contraindicated. There is a concern that doing so might lead to symptoms of alcoholism in those who previously did not imbibe or that those who drink heavily would interpret the advice as support for heavy drinking.[11][12] Dr. Tim Naimi and some others at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) speak widely concerning what they consider the supposed benefits of moderate alcohol intake, pointing out that the research designs that have led to such conclusions are not generally indicative of a cause and effect.[13] Drinking is the act of consuming a liquid through the mouth. ...


On the other hand, Dr. R. Curtis Ellison, a physician and leading medical researcher, says that adults should have a drink a day, unless contraindicated. “The bottom line is, never go more than 24 hours without a drink” says Dr. Ellison, who is chief of preventive medicine and epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Ellison recommends that other doctors prescribe a drink a day to their patients to promote better health and greater longevity. [14] Similarly, well-known medical authority Dean Edell, M.D., asserts that “you would have to be living on another planet not to know that alcohol -- in moderation -- is good for your health.” [15]

Contents

Controversy

Some research suggests to some that the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption may not be large enough or certain enough to recommend to those who do not already drink, even if not contraindicated. There is a concern that doing so might lead to symptoms of alcoholism in those who previously did not imbibe or that those who drink heavily would interpret the advice as support for heavy drinking.[16][17] Dr. Tim Naimi and some others at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) speaks widely concerning what they consider the supposed benefits of moderate alcohol intake, pointing out that the research designs that have led to such conclusions do not prove a cause and effect.[18] Drinking is the act of consuming a liquid through the mouth. ...


On the other hand, Dr. R. Curtis Ellison, a physician and leading medical researcher, says that adults should have a drink a day, unless contraindicated. “The bottom line is, never go more than 24 hours without a drink” says Dr. Ellison, who is chief of preventive medicine and epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Ellison recommends that other doctors prescribe a drink a day to their patients to promote better health and greater longevity. [19] Similarly, well-known medical authority Dean Edell, M.D., asserts that “you would have to be living on another planet not to know that alcohol -- in moderation -- is good for your health.” [20]


Physiological effects of ethanol

Alcohol appears to be hormetic.[21] Medical research demonstrates that, consumed in moderation, alcohol increases HDL (“good cholesterol”), decreases thrombosis (blood clotting), reduces fibrinogen (a blood clotter), increases fibrinolysis (clot dissolving), reduces artery spasm from stress, increases coronary blood flow and increases insulin sensitivity -- all good for heart health[22][23] (Rimm; Zhang). A very low dose of a chemical agent may trigger from an organism the opposite response to a very high dose. ... HDL is an initialism that may refer to any of the following: High density lipoprotein Hardware description language german: Hab Dich Lieb This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Cholesterol is a sterol (a combination steroid and alcohol), a lipid found in the cell membranes of all body tissues, and is transported in the blood plasma of all animals. ... Thrombosis is the formation of a clot or thrombus inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. ... Fibrin is a protein involved in the clotting of blood. ... Fibrinolysis is the process where a fibrin clot, the product of coagulation, is broken down. ... Section of an artery For other uses, see Artery (disambiguation). ... Insulin (from Latin insula, island, as it is produced in the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas) is an anabolic polypeptide hormone that regulates carbohydrate metabolism. ...


Alcohol production in the body

It is inevitable that all humans always have some amount of alcohol in their bodies at all times, even if they never drink alcoholic beverages in their lives. This is because of a process called endogenous ethanol production. Many of the bacteria in the intestines use alcohol fermentation as a form of respiration. This metabolic method produces alcohol as a waste product, in the same way that metabolism results in the formation of carbon dioxide and water. Thus, human bodies always contain some quantity of alcohol produced by these benign bacteria. For other uses, see Fermentation. ... Cellular respiration was discovered by mad scientist Mr. ... A few of the metabolic pathways in a cell. ... “Grain alcohol” redirects here. ... Carbon dioxide is a chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom. ... H2O and HOH redirect here. ...


Mortality

  • United Kingdom: "In 2004 there were 8,221 alcohol-related deaths in the UK, almost double the total of 4,144 in 1991."[24]

Light and moderate drinking saves more lives in England and Wales than are lost through the abuse of alcohol according to scientists at the University of London. The researchers determined that if everyone abstained from alcohol, death rates would be significantly higher. In the words of the lead author, "alcohol saves more lives than it costs." [25]


Other researchers, led by Dr. Ian White, found that, in the United Kingdom, 15,080 deaths were prevented through the use of alcohol, while 13,216 were caused by its abuse. Thus, the use of alcohol led to a net gain of 1,864 lives. [26]

  • United States: A 2001 report estimates that medium and high consumption of alcohol led to 75,754 deaths in the USA. Low consumption has some beneficial effects so a net 59,180 deaths were attributed to alcohol.[27]

Research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reveals that the benefits of moderate drinking outweigh the harms from abusive drinking. The NIAAA calculates that if all drinkers in the U.S. became abstainers, there would be an additional 80,000 deaths per year. Abstaining dramatically increases the risks of heart attack, ichemic stroke, and many other diseases and life-threatening conditions. The CDC calculates that abusive drinking lead to about 75,766 deaths from all causes in 2001, a number that continues to decline. Therefore, these analyses indicate that moderate alcohol consumption saves more lives than are lost as a result of alcohol abuse. [28]

  • Australia:The Cancer Council of New South Wales concludes that “If the net effect of total alcohol consumption on Australian society is considered, there is a net saving of lives due to the protective effect of low levels of consumption on cardiovascular disease.” [29]

Overall longevity

Studies support the finding that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with benefits in longevity because of reductions in coronary heart disease, stroke and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, duodenal ulcer, hepatitis A, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, metabolic syndrome, pancreatic cancer, Parkinson's Disease and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) [30][22][31][32][33][34][35](Wang & Barker) .[36] Apparent mechanisms of these benefits include the effect of alcohol on improving blood lipid profile [37] (it raises HDL or “good” cholesterol [38] and lowers LDL or “bad” cholesterol [39]). It improves blood insulin levels and activity, [40] reduces blood pressure, [41] reduces coronary artery spasm in response to stress and increases coronary blood flow, [42] reduces platelet aggregation, [43] reduces fibrinogen (a blood clotter) [44] increases fibrinolysis (the process by which clots dissolve), [45] Frequently, such studies qualify these findings with admonitions against heavy alcohol consumption or abuse, due to the negative health effects often associated with this behavior.


The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has completed an extensive review of current scientific knowledge about the health effects of moderate alcohol consumption. It found that the lowest death rate from all causes occurs at the level of one to two drinks per day. That is, moderate drinkers have the greatest longevity.[46][47] The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), as part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, supports and conducts biomedical and behavioral research on the causes, consequences, treatment, and prevention of alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. ...


Research in various countries has found the all-cause mortality rates range from 16 to 28% lower among moderate drinkers than among abstainers[48][49][50][51] (Yuan).


The medical studies establishing this relationship are large (some include over 200,000 people), cross-cultural (have been conducted in countries around the world), and are sometimes long-term (the longest beginning in 1948 and continuing to this day).[52]


To test the hypothesis that the results may reflect the poor health of alcoholics who now abstain, some studies have restricted the abstainers studied to lifelong teetotalers. Others have controlled for lifestyle factors, income levels, educational levels and other factors. The results have remained the same: moderate drinkers tend to live longer than abstainers or heavy drinkers.[53] Other studies contradict this view.[54]


A 23-year prospective study of 12,000 male British physicians aged 48–78, found that overall mortality was significantly lower in the group consuming an average of 2–3 "units" (British unit = 8g) per day than in the non-alcohol-drinking group (relative risk 0.81, confidence interval 0.76-0.87, P = 0.001).[55] The authors noted that the causes of death that are already known to be augmentable by alcohol accounted for only 5% of the deaths (1% liver disease, 2% cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, or oesophagus, and 2% external causes of death) and were significantly elevated only among men consuming >2 units/day. A Study design is a way to set up an epidemiological investigation, as a form of clinical trial. ... For other uses, see Doctor. ... In statistics and mathematical epidemiology, relative risk (RR) of an event associated with the exposure is a ratio of probability of outcome of interest in exposed group versus treatment group. ... In this diagram, the bars represent observation means and the red lines represent the confidence intervals surrounding them. ...


In a 1996 American Heart Association scientific statement, Thomas A. Pearson, MD, Ph.D noted, "A large number of observational studies have consistently demonstrated a U-shaped relation between alcohol consumption and total mortality. This relation appears to hold in men and women who are middle aged or older. The lowest mortality occurs in those who consume one or two drinks per day. In teetotalers or occasional drinkers, the rates are higher than in those consuming one or two drinks per day. In persons who consume three or more drinks per day, total mortality climbs rapidly with increasing numbers of drinks per day." The American Heart Association (AHA) is a non-profit organization in the United States that fosters appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke American Stroke Association Web site. ...


Cancer

Main article: Alcohol and cancer

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ National Toxicology Program listed alcohol as a known carcinogen in 2000 .[56] The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that "Although there is no evidence that alcohol itself is a carcinogen, alcohol may act as a cocarcinogen by enhancing the carcinogenic effects of other chemicals. For example, studies indicate that alcohol enhances tobacco's ability to stimulate tumor formation in rats (Garro & Lieber). In humans, the risk for mouth, tracheal, and esophageal cancer is 35 times greater for people who both smoke and drink than for people who neither smoke nor drink (Blot et al.), implying a cocarcinogenic interaction between alcohol and tobacco-related carcinogens (Garro & Lieber)."[57] Considerable evidence suggests a connection between heavy alcohol consumption and increased risk for cancer, with an estimated 2 to 4 percent of all cancer cases thought to be caused either directly or indirectly by alcohol[1] indicates the NIAAA.[2] 3. ... The United States Department of Health and Human Services, often abbreviated HHS, is a Cabinet department of the United States government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. ... Toxicology (from the Greek words toxicos and logos [1]) is the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms [2]. It is the study of symptoms, mechanisms, treatments and detection of poisoning, especially the poisoning of people. ... The hazard symbol for carcinogenic chemicals in the Globally Harmonized System. ... The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), as part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, supports and conducts biomedical and behavioral research on the causes, consequences, treatment, and prevention of alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. ...


"3.6% of all cancer cases worldwide are related to alcohol drinking, resulting in 3.5% of all cancer deaths."[58]


The NIAAA states that "Although epidemiologic studies have found a clear association between alcohol consumption and development of certain types of cancer, study findings are often inconsistent and may vary by country and by type of cancer."[57]


Chronic heavy abuse of alcohol increases risk of certain cancers. "Considerable evidence suggests a connection between heavy alcohol consumption and increased risk for cancer, with an estimated 2 to 4 percent of all cancer cases thought to be caused either directly or indirectly by alcohol (Rothman)" indicates the NIAAA.[57]


Drinking alcohol, especially along with smoking, increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx and liver, and of breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Except for breast cancer, these cancers are all rare (NIAAA). Moderate consumption does not significantly increase the risk of the most common cancers, except for breast cancer. The esophagus (also spelled oesophagus/Å“sophagus, Greek ), or gullet is an organ in vertebrates which consists of a muscular tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach. ... The pharynx (plural: pharynges) is the part of the neck and throat situated immediately posterior to the mouth and nasal cavity, and cranial, or superior, to the esophagus, larynx, and trachea. ... The larynx (plural larynges), colloquially known as the voicebox, is an organ in the neck of mammals involved in protection of the trachea and sound production. ... For the bird, see Liver bird. ... Breast cancer is cancer of breast tissue. ... The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is part of the United States Federal governments National Institutes of Health. ...


The moderate consumption of alcohol increases the risk of several cancers, might decrease the risk of a few others, and is unrelated to the incidence of many forms of cancer – see Alcohol and cancer for details. Considerable evidence suggests a connection between heavy alcohol consumption and increased risk for cancer, with an estimated 2 to 4 percent of all cancer cases thought to be caused either directly or indirectly by alcohol[1] indicates the NIAAA.[2] 3. ...


Cardiovascular diseases

The World Health Organization Technical Committee on Cardiovascular Disease asserted that the relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and reduced death from heart disease could no longer be doubted.[59] Consumption of red wine may be particularly favourable, since red wines contain certain polyphenol antioxidants associated with cardiovascular health. The subject of alcohol and heart attacks is important because the major cause of death in many countries is heart disease. ... “WHO” redirects here. ... This article is about the beverage. ... Molecular structure of flavone, a common Polyphenol antioxidant Polyphenol antioxidant is a class of multi-phenolic compounds known for their role of down-regulating free radical formation in mammals . ... The circulatory system or cardiovascular system is the organ system which circulates blood around the body of most animals. ...


Pearson reviewed the evidence supporting the effect of alcohol consumption on coronary heart disease (CHD): "More than a dozen prospective studies have demonstrated a consistent, strong, dose-response relation between increasing alcohol consumption and decreasing incidence of CHD. The data are similar in men and women in a number of different geographic and ethnic groups. Consumption of one or two drinks per day is associated with a reduction in risk of approximately 30% to 50%. Studies of coronary narrowings defined by cardiac catheterization or autopsy show a reduction in atherosclerosis in persons who consume moderate amounts of alcohol. In general, the inverse association is independent of potential confounders, such as diet and cigarette smoking. Concerns that the association could be an artifact due to cessation of alcohol consumption in persons who already have CHD have largely been disproved."[60] This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Other studies cast doubt on this hypothesis.[61]


Coronary artery disease

  • Angina Pectoris (myocardial infarction). Moderate drinking has been found to reduce the risk of angina pectoris.[62]

Peripheral Vascular Disease

  • Peripheral Artery Disease (Peripheral Vascular Disease – PAD). "Moderate alcohol consumption appears to decrease the risk of PAD in apparently healthy men.".[63] "In this large population-based study, moderate alcohol consumption was inversely associated with peripheral arterial disease in women but not in men. Residual confounding by smoking may have influenced the results. Among nonsmokers an inverse association was found between alcohol consumption and peripheral arterial disease in both men and women."[64][65]
  • Thrombosis (formation of undesirable blood clots anywhere in the body) is lower among moderate drinkers than teetotalers. [66]

In heart attack patients who are treated with alcohol, the tissues affected by low blood flow are healthier and stronger than those who receive no alcohol because of alcohol's positive effects on artery walls.[67] Similarly, drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation may help patients recover from coronary stenting. Healing appears to be promoted by the inflammation inhibiting effects of alcohol. [68] In medicine, peripheral artery occlusive disease (PAOD, also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a collator for all diseases caused by the obstruction of large peripheral arteries, which can result from atherosclerosis, inflammatory processes leading to stenosis, an embolism or thrombus formation. ... Thrombosis is the formation of a clot or thrombus inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. ...


The cardiovascular effects of alcohol are not all beneficial, however; studies show that large-quantity consumption of alcohol can lead to alcoholic cardiomyopathy, commonly known as "holiday heart syndrome." Alcoholic cardiomyopathy presents in a manner clinically identical to idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, involving hypertrophy of the musculature of the heart that can lead to a form of cardiac arrythmia. These electrical anomales, represented on an EKG, often vary in nature, but range from nominal changes of the PR, QRS, or QT intervals to paroxsysmal episodes of ventricular tachycardia. The pathophysiology of "holiday heart syndrome" has not been firmly identified, but certain hypotheses cite an increased secretion of epinephrine and norepinephrine, increased sympathetic output, or a rise in the level of plasma free fatty acids as possible mechanisms.[69] Dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM (also known as congestive cardiomyopathy), is a disease of the myocardium (the muscle of the heart) in which a portion of the myocardium is dilated, often without any obvious cause. ... Cardiac arrhythmia is a group of conditions in which the muscle contraction of the heart is irregular or is faster or slower than normal. ... ECG may also refer to the East Coast Greenway Lead II An Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG, abbreviated from the German Elektrokardiogramm) is a graphic produced by an electrocardiograph, which records the electrical voltage in the heart in the form of a continuous strip graph. ... Ventricular tachycardia (V-tach or VT) is a fast rhythm that originates in one of the ventricles of the heart. ... “Adrenaline” redirects here. ... Norepinephrine (INN)(abbr. ...


To determine if moderate drinkers have fewer heart attacks because they might lead more healthful lifestyles than do abstainers or heavy drinkers, Harvard scientists recently reported their study of only healthy men who led healthful lifestyles. For up to 16 years the doctors monitored the health of 8,867 men who didn't smoke, were of normal weight, exercised at least 30-60 minutes per day, and ate a balanced healthful diet. Among these healthy men with healthy lifestyles, those who consumed anywhere from 1/2 to two alcoholic drinks of beer, wine or liquor per day had significantly decreased risk of heart attacks. Those who averaged slightly more (one to two drinks per day) had the lowest risk. This study strongly suggests that the beneficial effects of drinking alcohol in moderation comes from the alcohol itself rather than from differences in lifestyle [70] Other research also addresses this question.

  • Another study found that when men increased their alcohol intake from very low to moderate, they significantly reduced their risk of coronary heart disease. The study monitored the health of 18,455 males for a period of seven years. [71]
  • Much evidence is not simply correlational or time sequence in nature. Some of the many specific ways by which alcohol leads to improved cardiovascular health are now understood, often in great detail. [73]

Such widely different types of evidence based on different methodologies largely rule out the possibility that some factor or factors other than the alcohol itself is causing the significant reductions in fatalities found among moderate drinkers around the world.


Stroke

Compared to abstaining, drinking in moderation is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, whereas abusing alcohol is associated with an increased risk of stroke.[74] For other uses, see Stroke (disambiguation). ...


A study of over 22,000 male physicians aged 40-84 years old over an average of 12 years, concluded, "Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption reduces the overall risk of stroke and the risk of ischemic stroke in men. The benefit is apparent with as little as one drink per week. Greater consumption, up to one drink per day, does not increase the observed benefit."[75] This article is about stroke as medical term. ...


A meta-analysis of 35 previous studies of the effect of alcohol consumption on stroke risk found that "compared with abstainers, consumption of more than 60 g of alcohol per day (i.e., over four standard drinks -- heavy drinking) was associated with an increased relative risk of total stroke, 1.64 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.39-1.93); ischemic stroke, 1.69 (95% CI, 1.34-2.15); and hemorrhagic stroke, 2.18 (95% CI, 1.48-3.20), while consumption of less than 12 g/d was associated with a reduced relative risk of total stroke, 0.83 (95%, CI, 0.75-0.91) and ischemic stroke, 0.80 (95% CI, 0.67-0.96), and consumption of 12 to 24 g/d was associated with a reduced relative risk of ischemic stroke, 0.72 (95%, CI, 0.57-0.91). The meta-regression analysis revealed a significant nonlinear relationship between alcohol consumption and total and ischemic stroke and a linear relationship between alcohol consumption and hemorrhagic stroke."[76] A meta-analysis is a statistical practice of combining the results of a number of studies. ...


Gastrointestinal disease

Gastritis and bacterial contamination

"The link between alcohol use and chronic gastritis (stomach inflammation) is clear, although progression from chronic gastritis to neoplasia is less well understood and probably involves other factors in addition to alcohol."[77][78] Gastritis is inflammation of the gastric mucosa. ... Neoplasia (new growth in Greek) is abnormal proliferation of cells in a tissue or organ. ...


Drinking strong alcoholic beverages with a meal may offer some protection against bacterial contamination. "The antibacterial activity of red and white wine against enteropathogens may protect against bacterial diarrhoea in a similar way to bismuth salicylate. This protective effect helps explain wine's legendary reputation as a digestive aid."[79] "Limited data indicate that drinking alcoholic beverages along with eating food contaminated with Shigella or Salmonella decreases the risk and/or the severity of illness. … During an oyster-borne outbreak of hepatitis A, we studied the effect of ingestion of alcoholic beverages concomitant with consumption of contaminated oysters. … After controlling for potential confounders, we found a protective effect for beverages that have an alcohol concentration of greater than or equal to 10% (odds ratio = 0.1, 95% confidence interval = 0.02-0.9), but not for beverages with an alcohol concentration of less than 10% (odds ratio = 0.7, 95% confidence interval = 0.2-2.9)."[80]


Pancreatitis

Heavy alcohol consumption is a major cause of pancreatitis, in both its chronic and acute forms. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. ... Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. ... Chronic pancreatitis can present as episodes of acute inflammation in a previously injured pancreas, or as chronic damage with persistent pain or malabsorption. ... Acute pancreatitis is rapidly-onset inflammation of the pancreas. ...


Peptic ulcer disease

"These results suggest a protective effect of alcohol consumption against active infection with H pylori…".[81] Another study concluded, "Adjusting for other risk factors, alcohol intake (comparing those who drink > 30 gm of alcohol per day to nondrinkers) was not associated with higher risk of duodenal ulcer (RR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.42-1.29)."[82]


Hematologic diseases

Anemia

Alcoholics may have anemia from several causes:[83]

  • Aggregated iron stores (chronic inflammation )
    • Frequency as the sole cause of anemia - 37%
    • Frequency as the contributing to anemia - 43%
  • Megaloblastic anemia (presumably due to folate deficiency as only 5% had low B12 levels)
    • Frequency as the sole cause of anemia - 1%
    • Frequency as the contributing to anemia - 34%
    • Regarding diagnosis, MCV>100 had sensitivity=66%
  • Acute blood loss
    • Frequency as the sole cause of anemia - 2%
    • Frequency as the contributing to anemia - 25%
  • Sideroblastic changes
    • Frequency as the sole cause of anemia - 0%
    • Frequency as the contributing to anemia - 23%
  • Iron deficiency anemia
    • Frequency as the sole cause of anemia - 4%
    • Frequency as the contributing to anemia - 13%
    • Regarding diagnosis, ferritin<100 had sensitivity=65%; ferritin<200 has sensitivity=80%

Megaloblastic anemia is an anemia (of macrocytic classification) which results from a deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic acid. ... The mean corpuscular volume, or MCV, is a measure of the average red blood cell volume (i. ... The sensitivity of a binary classification test or algorithm, such as a blood test to determine if a person has a certain disease, or an automated system to detect faulty products in a factory, is a parameter that expresses something about the tests performance. ... Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia, and the most common cause of microcytic anemia. ... Ferritin is a globular protein found mainly in the liver, which can store about 4500 iron (Fe3+)ions in a hollow protein shell made of 24 subunits. ... The sensitivity of a binary classification test or algorithm, such as a blood test to determine if a person has a certain disease, or an automated system to detect faulty products in a factory, is a parameter that expresses something about the tests performance. ...

Thrombocytopenia

Alcoholics may have thrombocytopenia from direct toxic effect on megakaryocytes, or from hypersplenism.


Hepatobiliary disease

Alcoholic liver disease

  • Alcohol is one cause of cirrhosis and hepatitis.
  • Roughly one in four people who consume more than three drinks per day during a period of 10–15 years will experience some level of alcoholic hepatitis.

Cirrhosis is a consequence of chronic liver disease characterized by replacement of liver tissue by fibrotic scar tissue as well as regenerative nodules, leading to progressive loss of liver function. ... Hepatitis (plural hepatitides) implies injury to liver characterised by presence of inflammatory cells in the liver tissue. ... In medicine (gastroenterology), hepatitis is any disease featuring inflammation of the liver. ...

Gallstones

Research has found that drinking reduces the risk of developing gallstones. "Compared with alcohol abstainers, the relative risk of gallstone disease, controlling for age, sex, education, smoking, and body mass index, was 0.83 … for occasional and regular moderate drinkers (< 25 ml of ethanol per day), 0.67 … for intermediate drinkers (25-50 ml per day), and 0.58 … for heavy drinkers. This inverse association was consistent across strata of age, sex, and body mass index."[84] Frequency of drinking also appears to be a factor. "An increase in frequency of alcohol consumption also was related to decreased risk. Combining the reports of quantity and frequency of alcohol intake, a consumption pattern that reflected frequent intake (5-7 days/week) of any given amount of alcohol was associated with a decreased risk, as compared with nondrinkers. In contrast, infrequent alcohol intake (1-2 days/week) showed no significant association with risk. … Recommendations regarding the benefit of moderate quantities of alcohol for gallstone disease should be weighed against the potential health hazards of alcohol consumption."[85] In medicine, gallstones are crystalline bodies formed within the body by accretion or concretion of normal or abnormal bile components. ...


Gallbladder disease

Consumption of alcohol is unrelated to gallbladder disease.[86] However one study suggested that drinkers who take Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) might reduce their risk. "After adjustment for potential confounding variables, use of ascorbic acid supplements among drinkers was associated with a decreased prevalence of gallbladder disease … and cholecystectomy …. Use of ascorbic acid supplements among non-drinkers was not significantly associated with either prevalence of gallbladder disease or cholecystectomy. Further study is necessary to confirm our findings and, specifically, to examine the combined effects of ascorbic acid and alcohol on cholesterol metabolism."[87] This article is about the nutrient. ... This article deals with the molecular aspects of ascorbic acid. ...


Neurologic disease

Brain development

Consuming large amounts of alcohol over a period of time can impair normal brain development in both rats and humans. Research is lacking on the possible brain effects of light or moderate alcohol consumption among young humans.[88] "Deficits in retrieval of verbal and nonverbal information and in visuospatial functioning were evident in youths with histories of heavy drinking during early and middle adolescence."[89] "Heavy, chronic drinking appears to produce adverse neural effects that are detectable by functional magnetic resonance imaging."[90] "The data suggest that CIE [chronic-intermittent ethanol] exposure during adolescence has a lasting impact on sensitivity to ethanol-induced motor impairments. This effect might stem from a disruption of normal developmental processes."[91]


Abstinence from chronic heavy alcohol consumption encourages new brain cell development, according to a study.[92]


Cognition

Research has demonstrated a positive association between moderate drinking and cognition or thinking ability. A study of 6,033 British civil servants who were followed an average of 11 years found that those who consumed at least one drink in the previous week, compared with those who did not, were significantly less likely to have poor cognitive function. The beneficial effect extended to those drinking more than 240 g per week (approximately 30 drinks). Higher levels of consumption were not investigated. [93] A three-year longitudinal study of several hundred men in the Netherlands found that low-to-moderate alcohol drinking was associated with a significantly lower risk for poor cognitive function than abstaining. [94] A large prospective study that examined the effects of alcohol consumption on men 18 years later found that non-drinkers and heavy drinkers had the poorest cognitive ability. Moderate alcohol consumption was associated with the highest cognitive performance later in life.(82) [95] A longitudinal study in France found that, among the women studied, moderate alcohol consumption was associated with higher cognitive function. Moderate drinkers were 2.5 times more likely to receive the highest cognitive ability scores than were abstainers. [96] Look up Cognition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Two recent studies have added to the evidence that drinking in moderation is associated with better cognitive ability. Researchers in Australia studied 7,485 people age 20 to 64. They found that moderate drinkers performed better than abstainers on all ,measures of cognitive ability. [97]


A 2003 John Hopkins study has linked moderate alcohol use to brain shrinkage and did not find any reduced risk of stroke among moderate drinkers.[1]


Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Research has found moderate drinking to be associated with lower risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A study of about 6,000 people age 65 and older found that moderate drinkers had a 54% lower chance of developing dementia than did abstainers. [98] A study in the Netherlands of 7,983 people age 55 or older over a period averaging six years found that those who consumed one to three drinks per day had a significantly lower risk of dementia (including Alzheimer’s) than did non-drinkers. [99] Over one thousand persons age 65 and older were studied over a period of seven years. Researchers found, that overall, light and moderate drinkers suffered less mental decline than did teetotalers. [100] A study of 1,018 men and women age 65-79 whose mental health was monitored for an average of 23 years found that “drinking no alcohol, or too much, increases risk of cognitive impairment.” [101] In Italy researchers examined 15,807 people 65 years of age and older. Among the drinkers only 19% showed signs of mental impairment compared to 29% of the abstainers. [102] In a study of 402 people at least 75 years of age who were followed almost six years found that light to moderate drinking was significantly associated with a decreased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease compared with non-drinkers. [103] The results of a study of 12,480 women age 70-81 beginning in 1980 found that women who consumed alcohol moderately on a daily basis were about 20% less likely than non-drinkers to experience poor memory and decreased thinking abilities. [104] A study of 7,469 women age 65 and older found that those who consumed up to three drinks per day scored significantly better than non-drinkers on global cognitive function, including such things as concentration, memory, abstract reasoning, and language. [105] A study of over 9,000 women age 70-79 over a four-year period. After adjusting for other factors that might effect mental function, the researchers found that the women who drank in moderation performed significantly on five of seven tests. They also performed significantly better on a global score that combined all seven tests [106] A study of older women found that moderate drinkers (those who consumed up to two drinks per day) demonstrated better memory abilities than abstainers. The performance memory tests included such things as remembering a story, a route, hidden objects, future intentions and connecting random numbers and letters. In all cases, the group who drank scored better than those who did not drink. They also performed better on concentration, verbal-associative capacities and oral fluency. [107] For other uses, see Dementia (disambiguation). ... Alzheimers disease (AD) or primary dementia of Alzheimers type is an incurable, degenerative neuropsychiatric disease which results in a pervasive loss of first mental, then physical functioning due to the deterioration of brain tissue. ...


In people with mild cognitive impairment, consuming up to a drink of alcohol per day reduced the development of dementia by 85% compared to teetotalers. The Italian study participants, age 65 to 84, were studied over a period of three and one-half years. [108]


Studies have found the risks of Alzheimer's disease to be as much as 75% lower among drinkers than among teetotalers. A study of found that those who drank regularly, including those who consumed in excess of U.S. recommend levels (one drink per day for women and two for men) had a significantly lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease than did non-drinkers. [109] A French study of 2,273 subjects over a period of three years found that moderate drinkers were significantly less likely than non-drinkers to develop either dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. [110]


A review of existing research to identify how dementia can be reduced found that that both abstaining from alcohol and abusing it are risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia. [111]


Essential tremor

Essential tremors can be temporarily and dramatically relieved in up to two-thirds of patients by drinking small amounts of alcohol, thus avoiding the serious side effects of the most effective and expensive medications or the dangers of surgery. (Charles P. D., et al. Classification of tremor and update on treatment. American Family Physician, 1999, 59(6), 565-72; Bain, P. G., et al. A study of hereditary essential tremor. Brain, 1994, 117(Pt 4), 805-24 ; Lou, J.S., & Jankovic J. Essential tremor: clinical correlates in 350 patients. Neurology, 1991, 41(2 Pt 1), 234-8; Singer C, et al. Gait abnormality in essential tremor. Movement Disorders, 1994, 9(2), 193-6; Wasielewski PG, et al. Pharmacologic treatment of tremor. Movement Disorders, 1998, 13(Suppl 3), 90-100; Boecker, H., et al. The effect of ethanol on alcoholic-responsive essential tremors: a positron emission tomography study. Annals of Neurology, 1996, 39, 650-658, 1996; Setting a steady course for benign essential tremor. The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter, 1999 (December), 11(10).) This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Myopathy

Nearly half of chronic alcoholics may have myopathy.[112] Proximal muscle groups are especially affected. In medicine, a myopathy is a neuromuscular disease in which the muscle fibers do not function for any one of many reasons, resulting in muscular weakness. ...


Neuropathy

25% of alcoholics may have peripheral neuropathy, including autonomic.[113] Peripheral neuropathy is the term for damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which may be caused either by diseases of the nerve or from the side-effects of systemic illness. ... Autonomic neuropathy is a disease of the non-voluntary, non-sensory nervous system affecting mostly the internal organs such as the bladder muscles, the cardiovascular system, the digestive tract, and the genital organs. ...


Obesity

Main article: Alcohol and weight

Contrary to common belief, drinking alcohol does not necessarily lead to weight gain. Most research studies find no increase in body weight, some find an increase, and some find a small decrease among women who begin consuming alcohol (references for this statement are listed in Alcohol and weight). Some of these studies are very large; one involved nearly 80,000 and another included 140,000 subjects. Alcohol and weight is a subject relevant to millions of people who like to drink alcoholic beverages and who also either want to maintain or to lose body weight. ... For other uses, see Weight (disambiguation). ... Alcohol and weight is a subject relevant to millions of people who like to drink alcoholic beverages and who also either want to maintain or to lose body weight. ...


A study of 14 male subjects concluded that "In free-living subjects over a 6-week period, the addition of two glasses of red wine to the evening meal does not appear to influence any measured variable which may adversely affect body weight or promote the development of obesity during this time period."[114]


A Mayo clinic study of 8,236 men and women found that people who had one or two alcoholic drinks a day were about half as likely to be obese than teetotalers.[115] Main campus in downtown Rochester, Minnesota. ...


Other diseases

Diabetes

Moderate drinkers may have a lower risk of diabetes than non-drinkers. "Alcohol intake increases insulin sensitivity and may partly explain both the J-shaped relationship between the prevalence of diabetes and the amount of alcohol consumption and the decreased mortality for myocardial infarction."[116] "Compared with abstainers men who drank 30.0-49.9 g of alcohol daily had a relative risk of diabetes of 0.61."[117] "Consumption of 30 g/d of alcohol (2 drinks per day) has beneficial effects on insulin and triglyceride concentrations and insulin sensitivity in nondiabetic postmenopausal women."[118] After adjustment for age, randomized treatment assignment, smoking, physical activity, and body mass index, the relative risk estimates of diabetes for those reporting alcohol use of rarely/never were 1.00 (referent), 1 to 3 drinks per month 1.03, 1 drink per week 0.89, 2 to 4 drinks per week 0.74, 5 to 6 drinks per week 0.67, and 1 or more drinks per day 0.57.[119] "The results of this study suggested that moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, binge drinking and high alcohol consumption may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in women."[120] This article is about the disease that features high blood sugar. ... In statistics and mathematical epidemiology, relative risk (RR) of an event associated with the exposure is a ratio of probability of outcome of interest in exposed group versus treatment group. ... A graph of body mass index is shown above. ...


Kidney stones

Research indicates that drinking alcohol is associated with a lower risk of developing kidney stones. One study concludes, "Beer consumption was inversely associated with risk of kidney stones; each bottle of beer consumed per day was estimated to reduce risk by 40% …. Since beer seemed to be protective against kidney stones, the physiologic effects of other substances besides ethanol, especially those of hops, should also be examined."[121] "…consumption of coffee, alcohol, and vitamin C supplements were negatively associated with stones."[122] "After mutually adjusting for the intake of other beverages, the risk of stone formation decreased by the following amount for each 240-ml (8-oz) serving consumed daily: caffeinated coffee, 10%; decaffeinated coffee, 10%; tea, 14%; beer, 21%; and wine, 39%."[123] "…stone formation decreased by the following amount for each 240-mL (8-oz) serving consumed daily: 10% for caffeinated coffee, 9% for decaffeinated coffee, 8% for tea, and 59% for wine." (CI data excised from last two quotes.).[124] Kidney stones are solid accretions (crystals) of dissolved minerals in urine found inside the kidneys or ureters. ... In this diagram, the bars represent observation means and the red lines represent the confidence intervals surrounding them. ...


Osteoporosis

Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with higher bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. "…alcohol consumption significantly decreased the likelihood [of osteoporosis]."[125] "Moderate alcohol intake was associated with higher BMD [bone mineral density] in postmenopausal elderly women."[126] "Social drinking is associated with higher bone mineral density in men and women [over 45]."[127] A bone mineral density (BMD) test, also called a bone mass measurement, is used to measure bone density and determine fracture risk for osteoporosis. ... Osteoporosis is a disease of bone in which the bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced, bone microarchitecture is disrupted, and the amount and variety of non-collagenous proteins in bone is altered. ...


Rheumatoid arthritis

Light to moderate alcohol consumption appears to reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, according to research. [128] Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is traditionally considered a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints. ...


Miscarriage

Spontaneous abortion is linked to alcohol consumption. [citation needed]


Issues

Health effect and type of alcohol consumed

A study concluded, "Results from observational studies, where alcohol consumption can be linked directly to an individual's risk of coronary heart disease, provide strong evidence that all alcoholic drinks are linked with lower risk. Thus, a substantial portion of the benefit is from alcohol rather than other components of each type of drink."[129]


Dr. Dean Edell writes that there are “differences of opinion about whether beer, wine, or liquor offers the quickest route to a longer life. Of ten major studies, one-third found this true for wine, one-third for beer, and one-third for liquor. Most researchers now believe that it is the alcohol in all of them that provides the magic, but they don’t rule out other components of alcoholic beverages”.[130]


One review suggests that red wine, particularly from areas of cold climate, seems to offer increased cardio-vascular protection and speculates that the effect results from polyphenols, chemical components contained in grape skin.[131] Polyphenols are a group of vegetable chemical substances, characterized by the presence of more than one phenolic group. ...


Recommending alcohol consumption to "teetotalers"

Recommendation to an abstainer to become a moderate drinker is controversial because of the potential health hazards of alcohol abuse.[132]


"Given that there is a vast panoply of very effective and under-used cardiovascular drugs and that the beneficial effects of alcohol are small and ill-understood, all those present at the Novartis Foundation meeting concurred that global recommendations such as '1-3 drinks per day are good for you' are not only meaningless but also irresponsible."[133]


"People who choose not to drink alcohol should not be urged to drink to gain any potential health benefit… Non-drinkers can use other strategies, such as regular exercise, giving up smoking, and a healthy diet, to gain protection against heart disease."[134]


Comparison with health benefits of exercise and diet

Some of the benefits of moderate drinking can be obtained from having a low-fat diet, exercising regularly (for heart health), and eliminating excess salt from the diet. On the other hand, Dr. Eric Rimm of Harvard reports that people have increases of 10 to 30 percent in HDL in a week from drinking alcohol. He says that “nothing else in the diet can have such a dramatic impact on HDL in such a short time”.[135]


Drinking alcohol in moderation can have a greater impact on reducing heart disease than any factor other than the cessation of smoking. And both drinking in moderation and not smoking contribute to the effectiveness of other lifestyle improvements.[136]


Moreover, a prospective study concluded in 2007 comparing the effects of moderate alcohol consumption in otherwise similar cohorts of men who were in the lowest-risk categories in a variety of health indicators, such as weight, dietary habits, exercise habits, blood pressure, and cholesterol, became the first study to show that even for such men in optimum health, those who consumed moderate doses of alcohol received significant health benefits over those who abstained from alcohol, suggesting that moderate consumption of alcohol has independent health benefits that do not substitute for and cannot be substituted by other positive lifestyle interventions. [citation needed]


Moderate consumption

Moderate consumption of alcohol is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as no more than two drinks for men and one drink for women per day. It is defined by the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as four drinks per day, not to exceed 14 per week for a man and three per day, not to exceed 14 per week for a woman. The UK equivalent is 3-4 units per day for men and 2-3 units for women. See the main article Recommended maximum intake of alcoholic beverages for a list of governments' guidances on alcohol intake which, for a man, range from 140 to 280g per week. This article summarizes the recommended maximum intake (or safe limits) of alcohol as recommended by the health agencies of various governments. ...


An exhaustive review of all major heart disease studies has found that "moderate consumers (1 to 2 drinks/day) were at a lower risk of coronary heart disease than nonconsumers or heavy consumers. Evaluation of total mortality in relationship to alcohol consumption reveals that a similar U-shaped relationship to longevity exists."[137] "A substantial portion of the benefit is from alcohol rather than other components of each type of drink." [138] However, studies have also shown that episodic heavy drinking increases the risk of major coronary events such as coronary heart disease and stroke, even in users whose overall volume of drinking was low.[citation needed]


Other possibilities are that moderate drinkers have more healthful lifestyles (making them healthier), higher economic status (giving them greater access to better foods or better healthcare), higher educational levels (causing them to be more aware of disease symptoms), etc. However, when these and other factors are considered, the conclusion again remains the same: moderate drinkers are less likely to suffer cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in Europe and the Americas.[139] In addition, research has demonstrated specific mechanisms whereby alcohol significantly reduces cardiovascular disease [140] [141] [142] [143] [22] [144] [145] [146] [147] [148], may reduce the risk of dementia, and even indirectly facilitate memory and learning.[149] However, a study published in the British Medical Journal found that, after adjusting for other potentially confounding factors, alcohol consumption had no noticeable effect on the risk of coronary heart disease.[150] This was true for the full range of the test group, including both non-drinkers and heavy drinkers. The study's authors state that the difference may be explained by the exclusion of people who were of ill health who in other studies may have been included in the non-drinker category, as well as other variables, particularly socioeconomic background. Facilitate (fahsihlahtey. ...


According to the New England Journal Of Medicine, compared to abstainers, those who drink alcohol regularly have higher death rates from injuries, violence, suicide, poisoning, cirrhosis, certain cancers, and possibly hemorrhagic stroke.[146][151] Also according to the NEJM, for men under the age of 34 and women under the age of 45, those reporting no alcohol intake have the lowest mortality rate.[151] The British Medical Journal found that the risks of several types of cancer increase for those who consume alcohol in comparison to lifelong abstainers.[152] This was true even for moderate drinkers.


Alcohol consumption can cause a magnesium deficiency or reduce magnesium levels, as well as reduce levels of zinc and other minerals. These deficiencies may contribute to, or explain, many resulting diseases related to the overconsumption of alcohol. Moderate or heavy consumers of alcohol may want to ensure a healthy diet containing adequate magnesium and other minerals to help reduce the risk of diseases caused by alcohol consumption. Magnesium deficiency refers to an absolute lack of magnesium, the result of numerous conditions. ... General Name, symbol, number zinc, Zn, 30 Chemical series transition metals Group, period, block 12, 4, d Appearance bluish pale gray Standard atomic weight 65. ... Maintaining a healthy diet is the practice of making choices about what to eat with the intent of improving or maintaining good health. ... General Name, symbol, number magnesium, Mg, 12 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, period, block 2, 3, s Appearance silvery white solid at room temp Standard atomic weight 24. ...


Heavy consumption

Heavy consumption is detrimental to the user's health. People under the influence of alcohol sometimes find themselves in dangerous or compromising situations where they would not be had they remained sober.


Some people are predisposed to developing a chemical dependency to alcohol, alcoholism. The results of alcoholism are considered a major health problem in many nations. The development of alcoholism does not take place in the absence of alcohol, but neither does the presence of alcohol cause it. A chemical dependency is such a strong dependency on a substance that it becomes necessary to have this substance just to function properly; The need of a substance developed from abusing the substance, requiring the substance for survival, like the need for food, or water See also: addiction drug tolerance... Alcoholism is the consumption of, or preoccupation with, alcoholic beverages to the extent that this behavior interferes with the drinkers normal personal, family, social, or work life, and may lead to physical or mental harm. ...


Children of alcoholic parents have 4 times more chance to becoming addicted themselves.


Alcohol is said to be a factor in about 50% of deaths in car accidents, 50% of homicides and 25% of suicides. [2]


The neurological effects of alcohol use are often a factor in deadly motor vehicle accidents. Operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime in almost all developed nations.

RISK OF TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS[citation needed]
DOSAGE RISK
0.6 g/l 1.5 times the risk
0.8 g/l 4 times the risk
1.5 g/l 25 times the risk

Alcohol compared to other drugs

A 2007 paper in The Lancet attempted to classify drugs by the harm they do; it puts alcohol in fifth place behind heroin, cocaine, barbiturates, and street methadone.[153][154] The Lancet is one of the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, published weekly by Elsevier, part of Reed Elsevier. ... For other uses, see Heroin (disambiguation). ... Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. ... Barbituric acid, the basic structure of all barbiturates Barbiturates are drugs that act as central nervous system depressants, and by virtue of this they produce a wide spectrum of effects, from mild sedation to anesthesia. ... Methadone is a synthetic opioid, used medically as an analgesic and in the treatment of narcotic addiction. ...


See also

Considerable evidence suggests a connection between heavy alcohol consumption and increased risk for cancer, with an estimated 2 to 4 percent of all cancer cases thought to be caused either directly or indirectly by alcohol[1] indicates the NIAAA.[2] 3. ... The subject of alcohol and heart attacks is important because the major cause of death in many countries is heart disease. ... Alcohol and weight is a subject relevant to millions of people who like to drink alcoholic beverages and who also either want to maintain or to lose body weight. ... This article summarizes the recommended maximum intake (or safe limits) of alcohol as recommended by the health agencies of various governments. ... The effects of alcohol on the human body can take several forms. ... Fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS is a disorder of permanent birth defects that occurs in the offspring of women who drink alcohol during pregnancy. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

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Not found online yet Raymond Pearl (3 June 1879 - 17 November 1940) was an American biologist, who spent most of his career at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. ... Todays San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young. ... Todays San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young. ... The St. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 33rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is a medical journal published weekly in the United Kingdom by the British Medical Association (BMA)which published its first issue in 1845. ... The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), as part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, supports and conducts biomedical and behavioral research on the causes, consequences, treatment, and prevention of alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. ... The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is a medical journal published weekly in the United Kingdom by the British Medical Association (BMA)which published its first issue in 1845. ... is the 339th day of the year (340th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

  • Trevisan, M., et al. Drinking pattern and mortality: a longitudinal study; Gaziano, J. M., et al. A prospective cohort study of moderate alcohol consumption and sudden death in the Physicians' Health Study. Abstract . The Canadian Journal of Cardiology, June, 1997, volume 13, Supplement B.

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Alcoholic beverage - Encyclopedia, History, Geography and Biography (3887 words)
The concentration of alcohol in an alcoholic beverage may be specified in percent alcohol by volume (ABV), in percentage by weight (sometimes abbreviated w/w for weight for weight), or in proof.
Alcohols of this purity are commonly referred to as grain alcohol and are not meant for human consumption, with the notable exception of neutral grain spirits.
Alcoholic beverages have been widely consumed since prehistoric times by people around the world, seeing use as a component of the standard diet, for hygienic or medical reasons, for their relaxant and euphoric effects, for recreational purposes, for artistic inspiration, as aphrodisiacs, and for other reasons.
Alcohol Consumption Information on Healthline (996 words)
Alcohol abuse is responsible for 60% to 75% of cases of cirrhosis, which is a major risk factor for eventually developing primary liver cancer.
Alcohol consumption is an important risk factor for many types of cancer including: pharynx, larynx, mouth, breast, liver, lung, esophagus, gastric, pancreatic, urinary tract, prostrate, ovarian, colorectal, brain cancers, lymphoma, and leukemia.
Although moderate alcohol consumption is recommended to reduce the risk of heart disease, other lifestyle factors such as a healthy diet and exercise reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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