Just five alcoholic drinks a week could shorten your life, study says

  • People who drink more are more likely to suffer a stroke, heart failure and fatal aneurysms, according to research.
  • Guidelines from the CDC say that women can drink up to one alcoholic beverage a day while men can drink up to two.

Consuming five alcoholic drinks each week may lead to an early death, according to scientists.

Drinking just 100g of alcohol a week — equal to five glasses of wine or pints of beer — increases the risk of mortality, a study published in medical journal The Lancet said Friday.

The research, which analyzed 600,000 people in 19 countries, said that people who drank more were more likely to suffer a stroke, heart failure and fatal aneurysms.

Drinking between 200g and 350g of alcohol a week — roughly 10 to 18 glasses of wine or pints of beer — could cut one to two years off a person's average life expectancy, the study said.

It concluded that alcohol consumption limits should be lower than most official guidelines around the world.

The U.K. recently introduced new guidelines recommending that people drink no more than the equivalent of six glasses of wine or pints of beer each week.

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on the other hand, say that women can drink up to one alcoholic beverage a day while men can drink up to two.