The CDC has defined moderate drinking as having one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, but a new study suggests that any more than one per day can lead to a shorter life span.
The University of Cambridge study is a combination of results from 83 studies spanning 19 countries analyzing about 600,000 people.
The study found that adults should not be drinking more than 100 grams of alcohol per week, which is approximately seven drinks. Any more than that was shown to decrease life expectancy anywhere from one to five years on average and increase risk of stroke and heart failure. The CDC's recommendation for moderate drinking among men would also put them in the "heavy drinking" category in La Crosse County, according to a 10-year study released in 2017.
"...it's something that is a trade-off," said Catherine Kolkmeier, editor for that 10-year study. "I think everyone has to look at what limits they're willing to set and what they are willing to live within and work with their physician, work with their family, work with others in their lives to look at what's healthiest for them."
Kolkmeier said it's important to note the variability from person to person and the difference between binge drinking and heavy drinking. An average of seven drinks per week might qualify as moderate, but having those in a short time span would still be considered binge drinking.
The US Department of Health and Human Services lists the consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen linked to several different kinds of cancer, including breast cancer.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in La Crosse County.