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Colleges call for safe drink limits to stay

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 24 June 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1623

Limits for safe drinking should not be relaxed, said a working party from three royal medical colleges in Britain this week. They warn that people ought not to be encouraged to drink more alcohol to protect them from heart disease because this would increase their risk of dying of other causes.

The colleges first brought out their safe limits in 1987. These were defined as 21 units a week for men and 14 units for women. A unit contains 8 g of alcohol and is equivalent to half a pint of beer or a glass of wine.

The colleges' latest report follows widespread media coverage of research papers suggesting that alcohol protects against heart disease. A paper published recently by a Danish group suggested that drinking more than …

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