Urgent warning as ‘just one alcoholic drink a day increases risk of sudden but silent killer’

MOST people enjoy a glass of wine or a pint of beer now and again.

But experts have warned that just one alcoholic drink a day could increase your risk of a sudden but silent killer.


Experts have warned that just one drink a day could increase your risk of a deadly strokeCredit: Getty

Medics in Japan found that people in their 20s and 30s who drink ‘moderate to heavy’ amounts of booze are more likely to have a stroke.

This is compared to young adults who drink low amounts or no booze at all.

Writing in the American Academy of Neurology, doctors said the risk of stroke increased the more years people reported moderate or heavy drinking.

As part of the study, participants were asked how many days a week they have a tipple, as well as how much they drink.

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Those who consumed 443.6ml (15 ounces) a day were considered moderate or heavy drinkers.

More than 1.5 million people were included in the study, with a total of 3,153 having a stroke.

The medics discovered that those who drank more were about 20 per cent more likely to have a stroke than people who were light drinkers or did not drink alcohol.

Light drinkers were those who drank less than 443.6ml a day.

The NHS says that adults should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, spread over three days or more.

This equates to around six medium glasses of wine (175ml) or six pints of four per cent beer.

As the years of alcohol consumption increased, so did the participants risk of stroke.

Those who had been drinking for two years had a 19 per cent increased risk, while those drinking for three years had a 22 per cent risk increase.

The experts noted that these results were after they had accounted for other factors such as  high blood pressure, smoking and body mass index – all of which increase your risk of a deadly stroke.

Those with four years of drinking had a stroke rate of 0.51 per 1,000 person-years, compared to 0.48 for three years of drinking, 0.43 for two years, 0.37 for one year and 0.31 for none.

These ‘person-years’ refer to the number of people in the study, and how long they spent on the programme.

Where to get help if you have a problem with alcohol

If you think you might have a problem with booze then you may need to seek help.

This might be the case if you often feel the need to have a drink or if you get into trouble because of your drinking.

If other people have warned you about your drink and it’s causing you problems then a good place to start is your GP.

There are other places you can go to get help:

Study author Eue-Keun Choi, MD, PhD, of Seoul National University in the Republic of Korea said the rate of stroke among young adults has been increasing over the last few decades, and stroke in young adults causes death and serious disability.

“If we could prevent stroke in young adults by reducing alcohol consumption, that could potentially have a substantial impact on the health of individuals and the overall burden of stroke on society.”

The experts added that more than 90 per cent of the burden for stroke can be put down to things we can alter – including how much booze we have.

“Since stroke in young adults severely impacts both the individual and society by limiting their activities during their most productive years, reducing alcohol consumption should be emphasized in young adults with heavy drinking habits as part of any strategy to prevent stroke.”

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It’s important to note that the study only included participants who were of Korean descent.

This means it may not be an accurate representation of how alcohol affects all adults.

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