Live Blog

Live Blog

Spoilsports and Nurse Ratcheds everywhere:

If you're one of the third of all humankind who drinks alcohol, take note: There's no amount of liquor, wine or beer that is safe for your overall health, according to a new analysis of 2016 global alcohol consumption and disease risk. Alcohol was the leading risk factor for disease and premature death in men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 worldwide in 2016, accounting for nearly one in 10 deaths, according to the study, published Thursdayin the journal The Lancet.

For all ages, alcohol was associated with 2.8 million deaths that year. Those deaths include alcohol-related cancer and cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, intentional injury such as violence and self-harm, and traffic accidents and other unintentional injuries such as drowning and fires.

Translation: sometimes bad things happen to you when you're drunk. But that has nothing to do with the specific health effects of alcohol per se.

"The most surprising finding was that even small amounts of alcohol use contribute to health loss globally," said senior study author Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. "We're used to hearing that a drink or two a day is fine. But the evidence is the evidence."

Not surprisingly due to their large populations, China, India and Russia led the world in the total number of alcohol-related deaths in men and women. The US ranked fifth among men and seventh among women on that list; the UK ranked 21st for men and ninth for women.

"This study is a stark reminder of the real, and potentially lethal, dangers that too much alcohol can have on our health and that even the lowest levels of alcohol intake increase our risks," Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in the UK, said in a statement. She was not involved in the study.

Left unexamined are the societal trade-offs we make in order to enjoy booze. It's a social lubricant, an instrument of seduction and inspiration, a way to kill pain or heighten pleasure. A responsible society allows responsible adults to make up their own minds.