As an emerging third-world country India is now facing up to the realities of what modern-day civilized countries choose to address. In this case namely, alcoholism. For the remainder of this blog keep in mind that a peg to an Indian is one drink of alcohol to us.
According to an Indian study, next time you want to have an extra peg, curb that craving. For, more than three small pegs of alcohol a day increases one's risk of dying.
A study, published in the journal Alcohol has found that alcohol consumers had 22 per cent higher risk of death in comparison to those remaining free of it.
However, the study also showed that light to moderate drinking may have some protective role.
Those who consumed more than 100 milliliters - three pegs - of alcohol a day had a lower survival rate, the study said. Interestingly, the mortality risk among those who consumed less than 100ml a day was lower than that among the tee-totallers.
The study was carried out by Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health and University of Waterloo, Canada, in Mumbai among 35,102 men aged 45 years or more. The cases were followed up after five-and-a-half years.
Most alcohol drinkers in the lower and middle class in India follow a pattern of heavy drinking with the majority drinking at least four times a week, and drinking in quantities more than 100 ml per day. This is a significant source of harmful and potentially fatal consequences.
Those who drank at least four times a week had an increased risk of mortality by 39 per cent. In terms of quantity, those who consumed more than 250 ml per day had the highest risk.
Increased risk of mortality was mainly from TB, diseases related to heart, respiratory, liver and digestive systems.
The highest risk of mortality was associated with liver diseases with alcohol drinkers having more than triple the risk than non- drinkers. The risk was 219 per cent more.
Among the various types of alcoholic beverages, the significantly higher risk was observed for only those who reported drinking country liquor. Compared with non- drinkers, country liquor drinkers had around four times higher risk of dying from liver disease, whereas this was around twice for those who drink other types of alcohol. These findings could be because of the heavier drinking pattern followed by country liquor drinkers.
Several studies have shown that many drinkers in India are heavy drinkers or "problem drinkers," that is, those who consume at least 75 ml of alcohol in a day and who drink almost every day of the week.
This kind of drinking poses serious threats to health. Besides, compared with developed countries, the risks associated with excessive drinking in India may be accentuated because of poverty, malnutrition and infectious diseases, which makes drinkers even more vulnerable to health problems Scientists said alcohol had become a public health issue.
Alcohol is a major cause of liver disease called cirrhosis in India. The liver gets inflated and hardened by fibrous tissue irreversibly requiring transplant.
It would appear that Indians also could use a good online alcohol class.