There is a lot of conflicting information about the benefits of alcohol. One study suggests a drink a day may help you live longer, while another reports it could decrease life expectancy. Does alcohol shorten your life or not? There is no doubt that misusing alcohol could cut years or even decades off your lifespan, which is why you may want to seek out detox treatment. Contact The Bluffs today at 850.374.5331 for more information about our detox program.
How Many Years Does Drinking Take Off Your Life?
The debate about how much alcohol is healthy and how much is harmful may go on, but there’s no doubt that alcohol use disorder is bad for your health. Does drinking alcohol shorten your life? According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, even people who are not addicted but occasionally overindulge are putting their health at risk.
Alcohol can harm every system in your body. It can be associated with:
- Altered behavior and mood
- Disrupted coordination and critical thinking
- Liver inflammation, fibrosis, cirrhosis, steatosis, and alcoholic hepatitis
- Inflammation of blood vessels, pancreatitis, and poor digestion
Additionally, drinking too much on just one occasion is enough to cause heart damage. Some of the alcohol-related heart problems that can result from alcohol misuse include:
- High blood pressure
The effects of heart damage can be lifelong, and stroke can cause immediate death as well as lifelong cognitive and physical problems.
Excessive drinking also damages the immune system, making you more vulnerable to various diseases. A compromised immune system can put you at a higher risk of contracting serious illnesses like pneumonia, tuberculosis and many other conditions.
Does Drinking Alcohol Shorten Your Life? The Link Between Alcohol and Cancer
If you have wondered, “Does alcohol shorten your life?” you don’t need to wonder any longer. The National Cancer Institute reports that drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing several types of cancer. There are clear patterns between alcohol consumption and the following types of cancer:
- Head and neck cancer, including the pharynx, larynx, and oral cavity
- Esophageal cancer, specifically esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
- Liver cancer
- Colorectal cancer
Furthermore, consuming just one drink per day increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer by as much as 9%.
If you wish to decrease your risk of cancer, cutting out alcohol should be included as part of your healthy anti-cancer lifestyle.
Alcohol Addiction and Death
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that alcohol is the third most common cause of death in the U.S. Approximately 95,000 people die due to alcohol-related causes in the U.S. each year. The truest answer to the question, “How many years does drinking take off your life?” should take into account the automobile accidents, acts of violence, and self-destructive decisions that can be prompted by alcohol use.
So how much does alcohol shorten your life? The best estimate may come from a report published in the Lancet, which concluded that consuming ten to 15 alcoholic drinks per week could take one to two years off your lifespan. Another study in the National Library of Medicine states the life expectancy for men with alcohol use disorder (AUD) is only 47 to 53 years, while women with AUD live only 50 to 58 years, on average.
On average, people who misuse alcohol can expect to live 24 to 28 fewer years than their non-drinking peers.
Get Help for Alcohol Addiction at The Bluffs
The Bluffs offers a comprehensive treatment program for alcohol use disorder. It is possible to break the addiction cycle and restore your health. If you or someone you care about needs the support of an effective, evidence-based treatment program, call The Bluffs today at 850.374.5331.