The study, involving over 6,000 participants from UK Biobank, found that people with chronic excessive alcohol intake died earlier on average, with liver abnormality, alcohol dependence and smoking (which is common among excessive drinkers) all associated with a worse prognosis.
Excessive alcohol intake was defined as 80g of alcohol or more daily for men (approximately eight ordinary beers or eight small glasses of wine) and 50g or more daily for women. Alcohol dependency was defined as drinking at these, or greater levels, 10 years earlier from the point of assessment.
“Mortality risk overall, and from cancers and circulatory diseases, approximately doubled, and increased more than nine fold for liver diseases in participants who reported long-term very high alcohol intake, compared to all other participants,” said Clinical Professor Seth.
“Clinically, excessive drinkers with alcohol dependence and/or alcohol-associated liver damage should be considered for early or intensive management. We may be able to convince at least some of these individuals to reduce their alcohol intake.”
Published in the lead alcohol scientific journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the lead author of the paper was Dr John Whitfield, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.