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Tobacco, Alcohol, and Life Span: How Do Substances Affect Longevity?

However, results of a new study from the University of Greifswald in Germany contradict the idea of drinking alcohol to protect health. This can lead to immediate risks, worsening health conditions, adverse reactions with medications, and much more. People who binge drink are more likely to have unprotected sex and multiple sex partners. These activities increase the risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Regular overconsumption of alcohol over many years may also lead to the development of alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD).

  • † Number of binge drinking occasions in the past 30 days among adults who reported binge drinking.
  • Heavy alcohol use causes damage and inflammation to the stomach lining and digestive tract, which can reduce the body’s ability to absorb vitamins.
  • If you are an alcoholic or a person who regularly abuses alcohol it can severely decrease your life expectancy and longevity of living a healthy life.
  • People who consume significant amounts of alcohol every day are highly at risk of being reliant on it.

Drinking too much alcohol increases the risk of injuries, including those from motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, and burns. It increases the risk of violence, including homicide, suicide, and sexual assault. Alcohol also contributes to poisonings or overdoses from opioids and other substances. This life expectancy raises marginally to 83 years of age for women in the UK.


Even if your loved one seeks help, you may still need help and support to overcome the effects. Many people refer to alcoholism as a "family disease" because it can have a major impact on all members of the family whether they realize it or not. Once you quit drinking, your body can begin to recover from some of the damage or, at the very least, prevent it from getting worse. Complications of cirrhosis can lead to death, often due to increased pressure within the veins of the liver, which cause problems such as fluid collection in the abdomen (ascites) or massive bleeding of the veins lining the esophagus (varices). All authors conceived and designed the study, analyzed and interpreted the data, critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content, and obtained funding. C.C.W., and C.P.W. supervised the study, provided quality control on statistical analysis, and reviewed and edited the main manuscript text, wrote the draft of main manuscript text, reviewed and interpreted all statistical results.

heavy drinking life expectancy

Risk predictors were subjected to Cox proportional hazards regression analysis to identify significant predictors in multivariate models and life expectancy analysis. Nearly one out of 4 males (23%) was a modest drinker, who gained 0.94 year (95% CI 0.65–1.23 year) in life over non-drinker and had 8% reduction in adjusted all-cause mortality (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.86–0.97). https://ecosoberhouse.com/ In contrast, regular drinkers had 43% increase in overall mortality (HR 1.43, CI 1.35–1.52) and shortened life by 6.9 years (95% CI 6.6–7.1 years). As most drinkers also smoked, 59% in modest and 75% in regular, the combined effect shortened life by 2.0 years (95% CI 1.6–2.4 years) in modest drinker and 10.3 years (95% CI 9.8–10.7 years) in regular drinker.

Heart disease and cardiovascular health

This makes alcohol the third largest preventable cause of death in the country. When you consume large amounts of alcohol, it causes disruptions in the brain specifically with the communication pathways, often resulting in changes in mood and behaviors. If you drink enough alcohol, it could affect your coordination and ability to think clearly. Alcohol abuse in older people has become more common in the past few decades. Depressive symptoms like insomnia, mood swings, and anxiety can mimic those of alcoholism.

Alcohol Dementia: What Is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome? - Verywell Health

Alcohol Dementia: What Is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome?.

Posted: Sun, 24 Mar 2024 23:17:45 GMT [source]

Whether you or someone you know has an alcohol use disorder, it is important for you to get a specialist to get the best type of treatment. If you consume habitually, it is not only the liver that hurts, but also the heart and cardiovascular system as a whole. Alcoholism has been correlated with erratic pulse, stroke, and other possibly severe problems, but it is striking to see how many years the condition will rob off someone's life. Based on the amount of signs you encounter, alcohol use disorder can be mild, moderate or extreme. According to the latest figures from the National Statistics Office (ONS), the average life expectancy for men in the UK is about 79 years old.

How does too much alcohol affect your body?

As shown in Table ​Table1,1, the alcohol consumption rate is quite different between males and females. The rate of modest drinking and regular drinking in males is 22.6% and 12.1%, whereas 5.8% and 2.3 in females. Since the number of female deaths is relatively small, we how long do alcoholics live only analyze the life expectancy in males. Compared with nondrinkers, regular drinkers in males shortened life by 6.86 years (95% CI 6.58–7.14 years), while regular drinkers with smoking loss 10.25  years (95% CI 9.84–10.66 years) when compared to nonsmoking non-drinker.

By the time a person is in end-stage alcoholism, there can be no denying that drinking has taken over their life and damaged their health. Recovery will not be easy at this point, but it will be worth the work. Now is the time to line up support from addiction specialists, mental health professionals, friends and family, and others living with an alcohol use disorder. With the availability of a large cohort of nearly half a million subjects followed between 1996 and 2008, we compared modest drinkers (no more than one drink a day) or regular drinkers with non-drinker. Because a large number of drinkers also smoke, we analyzed the risks individually and in combinations. Previous research suggests that people drinking alcohol in moderation live longer than those who do not consume it.

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