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All-Cause Mortality Lower in Moderate Alcohol Consumers

Benefits disappear beyond a couple of glasses of wine or beer a day

MONDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate alcohol consumption, defined as a maximum of one to two glasses a day for women and two to four glasses a day for men, is associated with lower all-cause mortality compared to those who don't drink, according to a report published in the Dec. 11/25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Licia Iacoviello, M.D., Ph.D., of the Catholic University in Campobasso, Italy, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 34 studies including a total of 1,015,835 men and women and 94,533 deaths.

There was an inverse association between daily consumption of up to four alcoholic drinks for men and one or two for women and total mortality. The maximum protection was 18 percent in women and 17 percent in men. However, daily consumption of alcohol in larger amounts was associated with increased mortality and women were susceptible to the negative effects of alcohol at lower doses than men.

"It might be a fact linked to the metabolism. We know that women metabolize alcohol in a different way and the blood concentration reaches higher levels. Therefore, consuming more than two doses might lead to several harmful effects, such as liver diseases or increased risk of certain forms of tumor," said Iacoviello in a statement.

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