A new study finds people under 40 face higher health risks from alcohol consumption than older adults, USA Today reports. In this group, the greatest risk of alcohol consumption is injury.
The study found even small amounts of alcohol led to an increased risk of death. The findings come from the Global Burden of Diseases Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the study, males ages 15 to 39 increased health risks by drinking a little more than one-tenth of a standard drink, while women increased health risks by drinking about one-fourth of a standard drink. About 60% of people who drank unsafe amounts of alcohol in 2020 were between the ages of 15 and 39 years. Nearly 77% were male.
“Our message is simple: Young people should not drink, but older people may benefit from drinking small amounts,” researcher Emmanuela Gakidou of the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, said in a news release. “While it may not be realistic to think young adults will abstain from drinking, we do think it’s important to communicate the latest evidence so that everyone can make informed decisions about their health.”