In March of 2020, Nielsen reported a 54% increase in alcohol sales compared to the same time period in 2019. The initial reaction to the pandemic shutdown was to down more drinks.
Are you still drinking more than usual? Many of you may be and that has us worried. Evidence is accumulating that when it comes to alcohol (even with its heart- and artery-friendly benefits), less is more.
A new study in Cancer Epidemiology shows that in the U.S., alcohol consumption accounts for around 75,200 cancer cases and 18,950 cancer-related deaths every year. Another study in the Journal on Studies of Alcohol and Drugs says more than half of alcohol-caused cancer deaths are experienced by those drinking recommended safe amounts - one drink a day for women and two for men.
In addition, alcohol is a factor in about 60% of fatal burn injuries, drownings and homicides; 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults; and 40% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, falls and suicides. It's related to destabilizing atrial fibrillation, developing depression and many cancers, and it can make it difficult to manage diabetes, hypertension and sleep disorders.
So if you're handling pandemic or economic stresses by imbibing alcohol, it's time to wean yourself off the stuff. Limit yourself to one glass of wine every or every other day if you have a high risk for cancer in your family. And if you've developed dependence, think about giving it up altogether. Get help through Alcoholics Anonymous, therapy and your doctor. A great substitute: physical activity.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.