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Wine may be just as harmful as vodka

Drinking a large glass of wine is as potentially harmful as downing three shots of vodka, a senior health official has said.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England (PHE), warned that liver disease is a "silent killer" and now accounts for 500pc more deaths among working-age people than in the 1970s.

He said: "It is currently the third-biggest killer of working-age adults after ischaemic heart disease and self-harm.

"And it is a silent killer, with 75pc of people with cirrhosis only being diagnosed once they are admitted to hospital.

"Liver disease is largely preventable, with the three big risk factors being alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis."


A 250ml glass of wine with an alcohol volume of 12.5pc contains three units, while one single shot of vodka with a volume of 40pc is the equivalent of one unit.

The Lancet Commission on Liver Disease said it "stands out as the one glaring exception to the improvements made during the past 30 years in health and life expectancy for chronic disorders such as stroke, heart disease and many cancers".

The commission made a number of recommendations including "scaling up" national action to reduce the consumption of alcohol.

It called for measures such as introducing a minimum price per unit and restricting sales of alcohol in shops to specific times of the day.