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Drinking and Your Health: Why Moderation Matters

January 12, 2017 by HealthyFamilies BC

drinking and disease for men and women

Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of certain diseases including many cancers. The more you drink, the more that risk can go up. Find out how many drinks it takes to put you at risk, what diseases you may face and how high or low those risks can be.

The table below shows how much you could be increasing your risk of disease depending on how much you drink. It shows long-term decreased/increased risk for diseases among men and women under the age of 70, by average number of standard drinks per day.

What’s a standard drink?

  • Beer 341 ml (12 oz.) 5 per cent alcohol content
  • Cider/Cooler 341 ml (12 oz.) 5 per cent alcohol content
  • Wine 142 ml (5 oz.) 12 per cent alcohol content
  • Distilled Alcohol (rye, gin, rum, etc.) 43 ml (1.5 oz.) 40 per cent alcohol content

table percentage change in risk

© Adapted from Éduc’alcool’s “Alcohol and Health” series, 2014. Used under license.

Resources and Links:

Excessive Drinking and Your Body
How the Human Body Processes Alcohol
Drinking and Disease: Risks for Women
Drinking and Disease: Risks for Men


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