A study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found drinking alcohol in moderation is more harmful than previously thought. The study concludes there's no "safe" level of alcohol consumption.

The study analyzed information from millions of people in nearly 200 countries and found that alcohol is tied to nearly 3 million deaths globally each year, with about 1 in 10 deaths linked to alcohol use. Furthermore, any protective health effects of alcohol were offset by the drink's risk, including between alcohol consumption and risk of cancer and injuries such as from car accidents.

"The widely held view of the health benefits of alcohol needs revising," the researchers wrote in their paper published in the The Lancet. "Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none." The study analyzed information from nearly 700 previous studies to estimate how common drinking alcohol is worldwide, including a total of 28 million people to investigate the health risks tied to alcohol.

The researchers found that globally 1 in 3 people (32.5 percent) drink alcohol, which is equivalent to 2.4 billion people, and that drinking alcohol was the seventh leading risk factor for early death in 2016 worldwide. Researchers said that public health campaigns should consider recommending abstinence from alcohol.

The Lancet called the work the "most sophisticated global study of the impact of alcohol on human health ever conducted." The study confirms that alcohol is one of the world's leading causes of disability, disease and death.


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