freephone 0800 862 0373
Sign in to view your quotes
Email address:
Password or PIN:

Forgotten your password? Reset it here.

Reducing alcohol RDA to half a unit a day would save more than 4,500 lives a year

Published on 31/05/2012

Current guidelines on alcohol consumption are too high, say scientists. People should drink no more than three small glasses of wine a week to save more than 4,500 lives a year.

At the moment, safe drinking levels are considered three to four units day for men, and two to three for women. A small glass of wine contains 1.3 units, and a pint of beer contains two units.

A pint of beer contains two units of alcohol.

Previous studies have argued that drinking alcohol in moderation reduces the risk of dying from heart disease.

But researchers from Oxford University now say that this benefit is far outweighed by the harm to health caused by regular drinking. They want the official advice on safe levels of alcohol intake to be cut to half a unit a day.

Dr Nichols said: ‘When all of the chronic disease risks are balanced against each other, the optimal consumption level is much lower than many people believe.”

The British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group analysed the death toll of 11 conditions known to be linked to long term alcohol consumption, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, liver cirrhosis and five different cancers.

Writing in the online journal BMJ Open, they say that cutting alcohol intake to half a unit a day would avert 4,579 premature deaths in England each year.

Whilst reducing consumption would lead to an extra 843 deaths from heart disease, this is far outweighed by the prevention of more than 2,600 deaths from cancers and almost 3,000 from liver cirrhosis.

Half a unit a day equates to half a small glass of wine and a quarter of a pint of beer. But Eric Appleby, of the charity Alcohol Concern, said:

‘We need to make sure [guidelines] are an easy-to-understand way of watching what you drink that’s practical for people to apply to their everyday lives.’

Figures show alcohol-related injuries and illness cost the NHS in England £3.3billion a year. The Chief Medical Officer is reviewing current alcohol consumption guidelines for the first time in 15 years.

If you want to ensure you get the best medical treatment on your private medical insurance then compare health insurance policies with full inpatient and outpatient cover.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Health
Reducing alcohol RDA to half a unit a day would save more than 4,500 lives a yearCurrent guidelines on alcohol consumption are too high, say scientists. People should drink no more than three small glasses of wine a week     tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

No.1 health insurance broker as rated by customers

Excellent service. Explained everything in detail and really helped to find the right insurance best suited to my needs - which wasn't necessarily the most expensive. 

Review centre member

Good value and the advisor was very helpful and recommended the best policy for my grandson. I would definitely use this service again and recommend to others.

Review centre member

We were contacted in good time to make a knowledgable choice. We were given plenty of options with lots of information to enable us to make the right choice.

Review centre member

The service I received was excellent, the staff member was very efficient and knowledgable. She went out of her way to get the best policy for me.

Review centre member

Great service. I really appreciated the help provided by Active Quote to arrange health insurance. The agent was very informative and proactive. Many thanks!

Review centre member

I received excellent care and attention from the first phone call till the last. Friendly, efficient and patient.

Review centre member

Staff are very helpful, friendly and polite. They call back when they say they will and keep you up to date with progress. Pleasure to deal with.

Review centre member

Very polite and friendly, and gave detailed explanations of all aspects of the cover. Reassuring to know that if you do have a problem there is someone you can contact.

Review centre member

Friendly and efficient. Nothing was too much trouble even when i needed to make a small change, excellent service.

Review centre member

The advisor was incredibly helpful and fully explained the differences between the policies. I really liked the fact that I was put under no pressure.

Review centre member
This site is operated by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd registered in England & Wales company number 6765845.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 501109 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Please read our Key Facts document.
For information about your rights as a consumer visit Citizens Advice.

Our insurance comparison service is free and easy for you to use, but you are responsible for making sure all your information is entered correctly, and for choosing your insurer.

This site uses cookies in order to work correctly - these are not harmful and do not contain personal information. By using this site you consent to this. I understand  Tell me more

please wait ...