Daily drinkers at greater risk than bingers

Sharing a bottle of wine a night means greater risk of liver disease

People who share a bottle of wine a night with their partners are at greater risk of liver disease than binge drinkers, research has found.

A study of patients with liver disease at Southampton General Hospital found 71 per cent drank on a daily basis. Half of them drank the equivalent of half a bottle of wine to one bottle of wine a night, or 35 units to 70 units a week.
 
None of the study subjects with liver disease were binge drinkers, lead author of the study Dr Nick Sheron said. He added: ‘These are people who do not think they are at risk of liver disease. They are at a lower risk of liver disease than people who drink more but because many more people drink at this level there are significant numbers at risk.’

An estimated one in four adults drink at levels considered to be hazardous or harmful to health. Other studies have shown that people who drink half a bottle of wine a day are at three to four fold the risk of developing alcohol-related liver disease than those who do not drink at all.

Dr Sheron said that instead of drinking a bottle of cheap wine every night, it is better is save the money and spent it on a couple of good bottles of wine for the weekend. ‘Most of the health problems from binge drinking are related to being drunk, they are car crashes, accidents and fights and they tend to be associated with young people. As you get older and drink more frequently the health harms tend to be from the chronic effects of alcohol rather than getting drunk,’ he said.

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