The Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol were released in 2020 by the National Health and Medical Research Council. This paper explains the rationale and process for the review and updating of the guidelines which provide advice on how to keep the risk of harm from alcohol low.
The guidelines are based on the latest evidence which has evolved considerably since the last update in 2009. Evidence linking alcohol to cancer risk has strengthened, particularly at lower levels of consumption.
There is also increasing uncertainty over the extent and accuracy of reported protective effects of alcohol against a range of health conditions, including myocardial infarction (heart attack).
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