Quaffing wine rather than drinking beer or spirits is healthier and can reduce your risk of death, a study has found.
Drinkers who consumed predominantly spirits had a 25 per cent increased risk of death and a 31 per cent higher risk of major cardiovascular events compared to people who mainly drank wine, researchers from Glasgow University found.
Spirits drinkers also had a 48 per cent higher chance of liver cirrhosis. The study of data on more than 300,000 people in the UK Biobank, published in the journal BMC Medicine, found similar risks for beer and cider drinkers, but did not look at those who are teetotal.
Research using data for 300,000 people from Glasgow University has shown drinking wine instead of spirits or beer and cider is healthier for you and can also reduce your risk of death
Drinking with food rather than without had a 10 per cent lower risk of death, while drinking over four days lowered the risk of death by 9 per cent compared to drinking the same amount on one or two days.
Previous research has already shown alcohol consumption is one of the leading risk factors for death, cancer, cardiovascular events such as a heart attack, and injuries.
Current guidelines focus on recommended daily and weekly average amounts of alcohol – but recommendations on drinking patterns or the type of alcohol are not available.
Dr Bhautesh Jani, who led the research, said: ‘These findings are important as they may have implications for policy and could allow health professionals to give patients tailored advice on various ways they can reduce the harm of their alcohol consumption.
The research showed spirit drinkers were at increased risk of death and major cardiovascular events and found similar results for those who drank beer and cider compared to wine drinkers
‘Of the regular alcohol drinkers we studied, less than half reported consuming the recommended amount for low risk alcohol consumption, so our first suggestion would be for regular drinkers to follow the recommended government guidelines.
‘Other ways to further lower the alcohol consumption related health risks….might be to spread consumption over the course of three or four days – whilst being careful not to increase overall intake – and consider opting for red or white wine and drinking with meals where possible.’