Alcohol Action Ireland today urged the Department of Health to initiate a review of Ireland’s current recommended low-risk drinking guidelines in light of the findings from a recently published study in the Lancet, which supports limits for alcohol consumption that are lower than those currently recommended.
The study, led by University of Cambridge and funded by the UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, the UK National Institute for Health Research, European Union Framework 7 and European Research Council, and conducted on individual-participant data of 600,000 current drinkers, highlights risk thresholds for alcohol consumption and recommends a new threshold of 100 gm or 10 standard drinks per week.
The recommended low-risk guidelines on alcohol consumption in Ireland currently advise 17 standard drinks for men, and 11 for women, or fewer per week with two alcohol-free days.
The research paper demonstrates that weekly alcohol consumption beyond 100 gms (10 standard drinks) is likely to contribute to a reduction in life expectancy. The study estimates a 40-year-old drinking four units a day above the guidelines has roughly two years’ lower life expectancy.
Ireland’s guidelines were last reviewed in 2009.
HSE recommended low-risk drinking guidelines:
Risk thresholds for alcohol consumption: combined analysis of individual-participant data for 599 912 current drinkers in 83 prospective studies