Alcohol consumption and cancer risk: revisiting guidelines for sensible drinking.

Publié le 8 Novembre 2011
Mis à jour le 09 septembre 2019

Recommendations for what constitutes sensible drinking are not new and have varied across time and place. In 1981, concerned by the increase in admissions to hospital for alcohol-related diseases in the United Kingdom, health educators and clinicians developed the general concept of sensible drinking. Drinking sensibly was defined as the opposite of alcohol misuse, which is "drinking to excess or drinking in situations which are not appropriate when the effect in either case is to put the drinker or others at risk of harm." In 1984, the British Health Education Council described sensible drinking as the amount to which people should limit their consumption of alcohol. Proposed British limits were 18 standard drinks per week for men (i.e., with 8 g ethanol/drink, 144 g of ethanol weekly) and 9 standard drinks per week for women (72 g of ethanol weekly). In 1987, the British Health Education Council raised the limits to 21 units per week for men (168 g ethanol) and 14 units per week for women (112 g ethanol). Those recommendations were based on studies that had focused on the short-term effects of different levels of alcohol consumption, such as social and psychological problems or admissions to hospital. Subsequently, these recommendations were endorsed by three medical colleges (general practitioners, psychiatrists and physicians) and finally adopted by the UK government in 1992. Other countries also adopted this approach. Some countries have adapted the limits to reflect the patterns of drinking in their jurisdictions, i.e., the limits for drinking range from less than one to as many as four drinks or units of alcohol per day, and the measure of a unit of alcohol varies between 8 and 15 g of ethanol.[extrait article]

Auteur : Latino-martel P., Arwidson P., Ancellin R., Druesne-pecollo N., Hercberg S., Le quellec-nathan M., Le luong T., Maraninchi D.
Cmaj : Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2011, vol. 183, n°. 16, p. 1861-1865