Alcohol Intake

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For many of us drinking with friends is one of life's pleasures. But for a lot of people, their drinking can lead to longer term health problems. If you regularly drink more than the lower risk guidelines, it can cause harm to your health that you can't always see.

Are you drinking above the lower-risk guidelines?

Drinking within the lower risk guidelines:

Men - no more than 3-4 units a day on a regular basis
Women - No more than 2-3 units a day on a regular basis

Drinking above the lower-risk guidelines, putting your health at increasing risk:

Men - More than 3-4 units a day on a regular basis
Women - More than 2-3 units a day on a regular basis

Drinking in a way that puts your health at even higher risk:

Men - More than 50 units per week (or more than 8 units per day) on a regular basis
Women - More than 35 units per week (or more than 6 units per day) on a regular basis

If you are drinking above the lower risk guidelines (3-4 units per day for men and 2-3 units per day for women), compared with non-drinkers:
  • Men are twice as likely to get cancer of the mouth, neck or throat, while women are 1.7 times as likely.
  • Women increase their risk of breast cancer by around 20%
  • Men and women are both 1.7 times as likely to develop liver cirrhosis.
  • Men are 1.5 times as likely to develop high blood pressure, with women 1.3 times as likely.
If you regularly drink just above the higher-risk thresholds, compared with non-drinkers:
  • Women are 2.9 times as likely to get cancer of the mouth, neck and throat, and men have 3.5 times the risk.
  • Women are 2.9 times as likely to develop liver cirrhosis, and men have 2.7 times the risk.
  • Men have 2.35 times the risk of suffering from high blood pressure, and women have 1.8 times the risk.
  • Women's risk of breast cancer increases by more than a third.

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