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Journal Article


Thakker KD. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 1998; 22(7 Suppl): 285S-298S.


Division of Community Medicine, Centre for Alcohol and Drug Prevention, Huddinge, Sweden.


(Copyright © 1998, John Wiley and Sons)






This article provides an overview of the most recent evidence on health risks and benefits of alcohol consumption. Not only different types of dose-response curves but also other factors are important to consider when balancing health risks and benefits of alcohol consumption. The association between alcohol exposure and the risk of developing alcohol-related harm is multifactorial; there is a considerable individual variation in risk and a particular female susceptibility. Guidelines on drinking published over the last decade have become successively more restrictive. Whereas guidelines in the 1980s referred to "sensible drinking" or "responsible drinking," more recent guidelines refer to "low-risk drinking." For an increasing number of groups, the recommendation is to avoid alcohol entirely. The need to consider individual risk factors and specific risk situations is increasingly emphasized. The possible net beneficial health effects of moderate drinking may be achieved in less risky ways by refraining from smoking, eating less dietary fat, and doing regular exercise. A number of health risks of moderate drinking have been demonstrated. Yet, for the moderate drinker, various psychosocial problems--especially in the area of productivity and relations--are more likely to develop than organ damage. Also, the risks involved in giving general guidelines on drinking have been widely discussed. If these guidelines were generally accepted and followed, it could have negative consequences on public health.

Language: en


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