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There has been ongoing debate regarding the health benefits from low-dose consumption of alcohol. The ascertainment of the claimed health benefits from low-dose drinking has important implications for the development of clinical guidelines for alcohol use, the overall assessment of alcohol-attributable disease burden and, more generally, the development of alcohol policies to reduce such burden. In particular, epidemiological and meta-analytic evidence have yielded contrasting results when studies excluded former and occasional drinkers from the abstainer group.1 ,2 An individual's lifecourse pattern of alcohol consumption often changes dramatically. As people age, they are likely to become weaker or ill, reduce drinking or quit entirely, resulting in a …
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