Light drinkers have lower cancer risk than non-drinkers, scientists find

People who drink'live longer than those who don't

During the period of the study, there were 9,559 deaths and 12,763 primary cancers among the participants.

Participants in this study were separated into eight different categories in terms of drinking alcohol.

It's a complicated issue to study, and that's led to some confusing public health messages, the researchers noted.

The new report does not put those questions to rest. "Our findings suggest that drinking in moderation might be less than seven drinks per week".

Scientists at Queen's University in Belfast looked at a study of 99,654 people in the United States aged between 55 and 74 over the course of around eight years, who were part of a Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.

The study analysis is limited to older adults and may be confounded by socioeconomic factors, the authors caution. That was in comparison to both non-drinkers and heavier drinkers.

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Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, said in 2016: "Drinking any level of alcohol regularly carries a health risk for anyone, but if men and women limit their intake to no more than 14 units a week it keeps the risk of illness like cancer and liver disease low".

Kunzmann stressed that the results do not prove that light drinking, itself, brings any health benefits.

A researcher not involved in the study was more blunt.

Scientists from Queen's University Belfast, said that alcohol is good for the heart, however, is at the same cancer. "It's probably something else about those people". Most existing evidence suggests that light-to-moderate drinkers had the lowest risk of dying from various causes during the study period, yet "never drinkers" had the lowest risk of developing cancer, he said. One major issue, he explained, is that former drinkers are often lumped in with "non-drinkers" - and some of those former drinkers may have quit for health reasons or concerns about their drinking.

Kunzmann agreed that the former-drinker issue is a problem in many studies. The new study analyzed whether combined risk of cancer or death from any cause differed in individuals with different alcohol intakes across their entire lifetime, using data from 99,654 individuals around the USA who were followed for an average of 8.9 years as participants in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial.

A new study suggests people who drink in moderation are less likely to die early than people who never drink.

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Response: In summary, the evidence is clearer than ever that reducing alcohol intakes to less than 7 drinks per day might help people reduce their risk of getting cancer or dying early. Beyond that, however, each cup increases the risk of cancer. ("Heavy" was defined as two to three drinks per day, for both sexes).

The researchers found that the combined risk of death and developing a number of cancers was lowest in light drinkers - those consuming less than one drink per day - and increased with each additional drink per week.

But the average amount of alcohol someone drank in a lifetime was linearly associated with total risk of cancer, in that risk went up the more someone drank, the data showed.

For now, Stockwell said, there is no scientific consensus on what a "low-risk" level of drinking might be.

A few drinks a week is better for you than a lifetime of abstinence, scientists have declared.

"It's unlikely you'll become less healthy by cutting down on your drinking", Stockwell said.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on alcohol use and health.

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