While most Canadians drink alcohol in moderation, the government estimates four to five million of them engage in high risk drinking.

Alcohol limits too high: new study

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A new international study suggests that the recommended limits for drinking alcohol are too high in Canada and many other countries. The study in the Lancet medical journal found that people who consumed more than five glasses of wine or beer per week had a greater risk of death from stroke, coronary disease, heart failure, fatal high blood pressure and fatal ruptures of arteries in the chest.

In Canada, it’s recommended women drink a maximum of two glasses of beer or wine per day. For men, the recommended maximum is three per day.

Recommended limits higher in Canada

In Canada, the recommended limit for alcohol consumption is no more than 10 drinks per week for women, and no more than 15 per week for men.

The study shows that 40-year old people who stick to the limit of five glasses a week could increase their life expectancy by up to two years. The research was published in the medical journal The Lancet.

Up to five million Canadians engage in high risk drinking

Most Canadians drink alcohol and, as a country, we consume more than 50 per cent above the world average. The government’s health website says that while most Canadians drink in moderation, it’s estimated that four to five million of them engage in “high risk drinking, which is linked to motor vehicle accidents, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other health issues, family problems, crime and violence. “

It goes on to say “depending on how much you drink, alcohol can be linked to both chronic and acute alcohol-related harms. Chronic alcohol-related harms include cancer, liver cirrhosis and other diseases and illnesses. Acute alcohol-related harms include alcohol poisoning, physical and (or) verbal fights and accidents.”

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