Risk Levels

What are the risks?

  • Regularly drinking more than the recommended daily limits risks damaging your health.
  • There’s no guaranteed safe level of drinking, but if we drink less than the recommended daily limits, the risks of harms to our health are low.
  • The Department of Health classifies alcohol use in three categories
Risk to social, physical and psychological health

Men

Women

Low Risk

3-4 units per day
regularly
2-3 units per day on a regular basis

Increasing Risk

4-8 units per day
regularly
3-6 units per day on a regular basis

Higher Risk

8+ units per day regularly or 50+
units per week
6+ units per day regularly or 35+ units per week

Drinking at an increasing risk?

  • Men are 1.8 to 2.5 times as likely to get cancer of the mouth, neck and throat, and women are 1.2 to 1.7 times as likely.
  • Women are 1.2 times as likely to get breast cancer.
  • Men are twice as likely to develop liver cirrhosis, and women are 1.7 times as likely.
  • Men are 1.8 times as likely to develop high blood pressure, and women are 1.3 times as likely.

Drinking at a higher risk?

  • You could be 3 to 5 times more likely to get cancer of the mouth, neck and throat.
  • You could be 3 to 10 times more likely to develop liver cirrhosis.
  • Men could have four times the risk of having high blood pressure, and women are at least twice as likely to develop it.
  • You could be twice as likely to have an irregular heartbeat.
  • Women are around 1.5 times as likely to get breast cancer.