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A hangover is the least of your worries

Some facts about alcohol

If you drink too much alcohol, the trademark headache, upset stomach and fatigue you experience from a hangover may be the least of your concerns.

The risk of stroke, cancer and high blood pressure is more closely related to the amount of alcohol you drink than the type of alcohol.

One standard drink equals:

  • 142 ml (5oz) of wine
  • 43 ml (1.5 oz) of spirits
  • 341 ml (12 oz) regular beer

High alcohol beers, coolers and fortified wines contain more alcohol than 1 standard drink. Cancer


  • Drinking more than 1 or 2 standard drinks per day can put you at risk for many types of cancer.
  • Alcohol is a risk factor for cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, breast, colon and rectum.
  • Combining alcohol with tobacco use increases the risk of developing some of these cancers.

Breast CancerBreast Cancer

  • Drinking 1 or more standard drinks per day can increase your risk for breast cancer.
  • Risk factors for breast cancer include: age, family history, previous breast disorders, taking hormone replacement therapy for more than 5 years, and alcohol.
  • Drinking alcohol is a risk factor a woman can do something about. If you choose to drink, limit your intake to no more than 1 drink per day.


  • Binge drinking (more than 5 standard drinks at one time) significantly increases the risk for stroke.
  • Drinking more than 2 standard drinks of alcohol a day can also increase your risk.
  • To reduce your risk, limit how much alcohol you drink and try non-alcoholic choices.

Blood pressureHigh Blood Pressure

  • Consuming more than 2 standard drinks per day increases the risk of high blood pressure.
  • High blood pressure is one of the main causes of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.
  • Cutting down the amount of alcohol you drink is an important lifestyle choice that will reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

Lower your risk

  • If you don't drink, don't start.
  • If you choose to drink, limit yourself to the low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines.
  • Any health benefits from alcohol come from as little as 1/2 a standard drink per day.
  • Eating well and being active are other ways to improve your health.
  • Try non-alcoholic drink choices such as sparkling mineral water and fruit juices.


For more information, contact:

Canadian Breast cancer Foundation

Canadian Cancer society

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario

Canadian Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines 

Adapted with permission from the Ontario Drug Awareness Program



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