Research published in November revealed that between 2015 and 2019, excessive #alcohol use resulted in roughly 140,000 deaths per year in the United States. About 40 percent of those deaths had acute causes, like car crashes, poisonings and homicides. But the majority were caused by chronic conditions attributed to alcohol, such as #liver disease, #cancer and #heart disease.
When experts talk about the dire health consequences linked to excessive alcohol use, people often assume that it’s directed at individuals who have an alcohol use disorder. But the health risks from drinking can come from moderate consumption as well.
“Excessive alcohol use” technically means anything above the U.S. Dietary Guidelines’ recommended daily limits. That’s more than two drinks a day for men and more than one drink a day for women.
The recommended daily limits are not meant to be averaged over a week, either. In other words, if you abstain Monday through Thursday and have two or three drinks a night on the weekend, those weekend drinks count as excessive consumption.
Scientists think that the main way alcohol causes health problems is by damaging #DNA. When you drink alcohol, your body metabolizes it into acetaldehyde, a chemical that is toxic to cells. #Acetaldehyde both “damages your DNA and prevents your body from repairing the damage,” Dr. Esser explained.