We’ve long been told that a glass of red wine a day is good for the heart or a beer a day won’t hurt you–but a major report that surveyed over a thousand previous studies debunks those claims, reports the Guardian. The researchers from the University of Washington say alcohol leads to 2.8 million deaths a year, and it is the leading risk factor for premature mortality and disability in the 15 to 49 age group, accounting for a whopping 20% of deaths. The study also found that:
- 1 in 13 breast cancers in the U.K. were alcohol-related
- 27.1% of cancer deaths in women and 18.9% in men over 50 were linked to their drinking habits
- in younger people, the biggest cause of alcohol-related deaths was tuberculosis (1.4% of deaths), road injuries (1.2%), and self-harm (1.1%).
While the study’s authors did acknowledge that low levels of drinking offered some protection from heart disease, and possibly diabetes and stroke, they say the data shows that the harm from drinking clearly outweighs any limited benefits. “Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none,” they said.