The Last Word: Is Alcohol Use at Any Level Actually Healthy?

The Last Word: Is Alcohol Use at Any Level Actually Healthy?

Chronic, heavy alcohol use, or alcohol use disorder, can overload your liver with fat and toxins to process. When your liver can no longer keep up, these toxins and fat build up and begin to injure the liver. This is your body’s way of attempting to heal and ward off further injury. According to the study, those who lived longer and enjoyed sound health avoided smoking and alcohol in excess. Researchers also found that those with strong social support experienced less mental deterioration as they aged. The researchers also found that marital satisfaction has a protective effect on people’s mental health.

But the science around moderate alcohol consumption is a lot more complicated. Alcohol addiction is a severe disease that can significantly impact a person’s health. The average life span of an alcoholic goes down with each drink, increasing the risk for heart and liver problems, cancer and suicide. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, Diamond House Detox can help.

Heart attack and stroke

Once you take a sip of alcohol, your body prioritizes breaking down the alcohol over other bodily functions. When the immune system becomes damaged by heavy drinking, it can weaken functions like the lung immune response, increasing the risk of respiratory diseases like pneumonia. With a weakened immune system, an alcoholic’s life span drastically declines. One study found that individuals who drank more than 350 grams per week had lower life expectancies by four to five years at age 40 compared to those who drank less than 100 grams per week. Researchers attributed recorded deaths to cardiovascular problems caused by excessive drinking, and further analysis showed that people who binge drank or consumed spirits and beer had the highest risk for mortality.

do some alcoholics live a long life

Alcohol may not only make you more likely to get sick as you age, it also can make common medical problems worse. Studies show that heavy drinkers can have a harder time with things like osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, ulcers, cancer, memory loss, and certain mood disorders. Alcohol can affect the way your body fights off life-threatening illnesses like tuberculosis or pneumonia. Researchers are also studying the possibility that alcoholic liver disease might be caused, at least in part, by your immune system attacking healthy body tissues. You may be more at risk if you have a family history of alcohol use disorder or liver disease.

Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease

If a person drinks frequently or more heavily, the nerve cells in the brain adapt by reducing the number of places they can receive these messages. Frequently drinking alcohol can result in a weakened immune system, resulting in your body having a much more difficult time fighting illness and disease. Common illnesses that occur with a weakened immune system, especially with alcoholics, include pneumonia and tuberculosis. Even 24 hours after being drunk can slow your body’s ability to ward off infections.

do some alcoholics live a long life

In Denmark, registered alcohol consumption per capita decreased slightly after the year 2002. In Finland, registered alcohol consumption per capita peaked in the time period 2002–2006 in connection with an alcohol tax reduction. In Sweden, registered alcohol consumption per capita decreased slightly in the 90s and increased thereafter. Mortality rate ratio for people with alcohol use disorder compared with people in the general population in Denmark, Finland and Sweden from 1987 to 2006. Sophia joined Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat in November 2017, with two years of experience in the field of addiction, helping others learn a new way of life through the recovery process. Active within the recovery community, Sophia serves as a valuable resource to patients in the program as they leave treatment to continue their journey to a successful recovery.

Body composition

But early recognition is your best hope of catching and reversing the effects of alcohol-induced hepatitis. If you have a history of heavy alcohol use and/or symptoms of how long can an alcoholic live liver disease, call your healthcare provider. They’ll check out your liver, assess any possible damage and help you change your habits to change your health future.

What is the average age of death for an alcoholic?

Conclusion. People hospitalized with alcohol use disorder have an average life expectancy of 47–53 years (men) and 50–58 years (women) and die 24–28 years earlier than people in the general population.

Heavy drinking means different things for men (and people AMAB) and women (and people AFAB). For people assigned male, it’s about four standard drinks a day or more than 14 drinks per week. For people assigned female, it’s about three drinks per day or more than 7 drinks per week. If you are a heavy drinker, following the above plan to ease the drinking can be helpful. Taking a break from alcohol and replacing it with eating healthy food and drinking a lot of water can significantly boost your immunity.

Alcohol’s Effects on Aging

And while heavy drinking and binge drinking explained the majority of these cancer cases, 14 percent were due to moderate drinking. A 2022 study found that heavy alcohol consumption increased a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease. Excessive alcohol use might indirectly cause heart failure or worsen heart function by contributing to obesity.

do some alcoholics live a long life

That means it’s hard to tell whether the beverages themselves are imparting longevity benefits, or if the health effects come from other lifestyle factors common among moderate drinkers, such as a strong social network. Plus, most research focuses specifically on moderate drinking, which is typically defined as no more than a drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men. Research has generally not found health benefits for people with heavier drinking habits — and, in fact, a recent report says that alcohol abuse is contributing to a decline in U.S. life expectancy. While drinking can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, it does increase other health risks. In the following chart, mortality rates for non-drinkers serve as the baseline health risk (1.0 on the vertical axis).

What’s the Lifespan of an Alcoholic?

She began her journey in the addiction field working as a detox medication nurse shortly after graduation. She spent 10 years on the nursing floor working with a team of doctors and nurses to get patients safely through the detox process, where they then could continue to pursue sobriety. She started to further her knowledge in the Utilization Review Department in 2013. In 2017 she became the Director of Utilization Review Services where she is the liaison between the patient and the insurance company to ensure the best level of care is authorized.

  • And the meta-analysis published in JAMA Network Open that involved 107 studies with more than 4.8 million participants also found no longevity benefit for drinkers.
  • Alcoholism is a chronic disease that progresses through early, middle and late stages.
  • Time magazine covered the results of the 90+ Study—which examines the habits of people who live to at least 90—as they were reported at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Alcohol abuse has been linked to an increased risk of cancer in the liver, breast, mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, stomach, and colon.
  • That’s because a relentless parade of research and data tells us that alcohol, overall, enhances health and prolongs life.

Symptoms can include digestive issues, jaundice, and brain and nervous system problems such as fainting and numbness in the extremities. Over 40,000 people in the US die from alcohol-related cirrhosis every year. Alcohol-induced hepatitis isn’t viral, as other types of hepatitis are. You can’t pass the disease on to others in the same way that you might pass on a virus. When friends or family binge drink together, they reinforce in each other the behavior that can lead to alcohol-induced hepatitis.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.