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Heavy drinkers are at an increased risk of death, here’s why

Due to heavy drinking, there is uncontrolled iron absorption in the body, which puts extra pressure on the body’s vital organs.

health Updated: Jul 13, 2018 13:55 IST
Asian News International
Asian News International
Asian News International
Heavy drinking,Heavy drinking and death,Alcohol and death
Reducing your alcohol intake could add years to your life, apart from giving you a more productive lifestyle. (Shutterstock)

Heavy drinkers, take note! A recent study has found that drinking heavily results in uncontrolled iron absorption into the body, putting a strain on vital organs and increasing the risk of death.

The Anglia Ruskin University study looked at health outcomes in 877 women in sub-Saharan Africa over a median follow-up time of nine years. The results of the study showed levels of ferritin, a blood marker of the extent of body iron loading, were higher in drinkers than non-drinkers.

Iron loading is when the regulation of iron in the body is compromised by alcohol consumption, leading to more of it being absorbed. It is known to cause health issues such as heart attacks, liver disease and diabetes.

The study found that higher levels of ferritin and its statistical interaction with alcohol in these subjects predicted all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. This means that the prognostic significance of iron loading depends on alcohol consumption.

Dr Rudolph Schutte, lead author of the study, said, “Iron loading puts strain on especially the cardiovascular system through oxidisation, which can cause damage to cells, proteins and DNA.

“The link between iron and mortality has been disputed for around 30 years, but this study is the first to investigate the significance of the interaction between iron loading and alcohol intake.

The findings have been published in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

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First Published: Jul 13, 2018 13:54 IST