A new study reveals that cutting back on social or sports activities because of drinking alcohol, is linked to a higher risk of death than by physically hazardous drinking behavior. The study involved 40,000 people, and was conducted over a period of 18 years.
“What this study really shows is that researchers and policymakers need to look at the nuanced complexities tied to alcohol consumption,” said lead study author Richard Rogers, professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
The study showed, for instance, that participants who had experienced an intervention by physicians, family members or friends had a 67 percent greater risk of death. Those who reported cutting back on social or sports activities because of alcohol use had a 46 percent higher risk of death over the same period. In contrast, issues like driving after drinking too much or engaging in other physically risky behavior did not result in a significant uptick in mortality rates.
The new study also showed that the social risks of drinking, such as losing jobs or having spouses threaten to leave, were more strongly linked to mortality than physiological consequences of alcohol abuse like withdrawal jitters or becoming physically ill.
The study was published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
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