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Alcohol and Chronic Disease

Alcohol and Chronic Disease – A hangover is the least of your worries


Know the Facts

Most people know drinking too much alcohol can lead to some unwelcome symptoms the next day. However, the trademark headache, upset stomach and fatigue you experience from a hangover may be the least of your concerns.

According to the World Health Organization, alcohol is among the top five risk factors for chronic disease, disability and death world-wide (WHO, 2014). Drinking, even small amounts, increases your risk of developing a number of chronic health problems, including:

  • Cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, liver, esophagus, head and neck i.e. mouth, larynx and pharynx)
  • Cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and strokes
  • Liver disease
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Mental health problems

The way in which you drink can also increase your risk of developing chronic health problems. The more you drink on average per week, the more you drink on one drinking occasion, and drinking without eating all increase your risk. A hangover is the least of your worries.

Lower Your Risk

The new Canadian low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines were developed to help Canadians of legal drinking age make informed choices about alcohol consumption and to encourage a culture of moderation. These are the National Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.

What is a standard drink?

One Standard Drink = 13.45 g of alcohol


Any health benefits from alcohol come from as little as ½ 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 or a mocktails.

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