A study by University College London found women who drank more than the recommended safe limit 2-3 units of 8g a day or 21 units a week increased their risk of heart disease by 57%.
Overall death rates were seven times higher among women who drank two or more drinks a day than in those who drank less than three drinks a week. The research, based on data on 3,374 women, is published in Addiction. The difference in death rates among men was much smaller - with those drinking more frequently just two and a half times at greater risk. But being teetotal was also associated with an increased danger those who did not drink at all had an 80% increased risk of heart disease compared with those who had a couple of drinks a week. Lead researcher Dr Annie Britton said: “Little and often is probably the best method for drinking but we certainly wouldn’t endorse people who don’t drink to go out and start as a result of this and other studies. ..The best advice is not to drink more than the government’s guidelines of around 21 units for women a week”.
“Many previous studies have focused on the risks experienced by middle-aged men, but we are becoming increasingly aware that alcohol consumption among women is a real health issue.”
Dr Britton commented. “The large amount of drinking among young women seems to be quite a new phenomenon. We are not yet seeing the long-term effects and it could be 20 years before we know what effect it has had. Our study is a snapshot of what could happen.”.
SOURCE: Britton A, Marmot M. Different measures of alcohol consumption and risk of coronary