Drinking is as harmful as smoking and consuming more than five drinks a week lowers life expectancy, say researchers

Drinking will shorten your life, according to a major new study that suggests every glass of wine or pint of beer over the daily recommended limit will cut half an hour from the expected lifespan of a 40 year old.

Those who think a glass of red wine every evening will help keep the heart healthy will be dismayed. The paper published in the Lancet medical journal says five standard 175ml glasses of wine or five pints a week is the upper safe limit – about 100g of alcohol, or 12.5 units in total. More than that raises the risk of stroke, fatal aneurysm (a ruptured artery in the chest), heart failure and death.

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