[How much alcohol is too much and why? Comments on socially accepted but excessive alcohol drinking patterns].Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2002 Dec 21; 146(51):2463-5.NT
Many modern societies increasingly seem to accept drinking patterns that should be qualified as excessive from a health care point of view. This does not concern alcoholism or alcohol addiction but a daily intake of three to eight glasses and the pattern of binge drinking. Although a lot of data are available on the physical consequences of alcohol abuse, little is known about the impact of these drinking patterns on peoples' health. According to the J-shaped curve between alcohol consumption and mortality, an increase in morbidity and mortality can be noticed from two to three drinks a day. This is largely caused by an increase in accidents, malignancies, cardiovascular diseases and neurological disorders. However, data on pathophysiological mechanisms and on the contribution of these drinking patterns in medical consumption are scarce. Because of the estimated extent of the problem and societies' interest, more support should be given to scientific programs and research into this matter. This may not only contribute to a better monitoring of the problem but also guide the development of strategies for education and prevention.