A new study has revealed a surprising link between people who are considered to be "heavy drinkers" and those who have abstained from alcohol. Abstaining from alcohol apparently causes missed work days. This was compared to people who claim they drink moderately or on occasion.

The Boozy Study

The team of researchers from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health conducted the study to find the "U-shaped" relationship between absenteeism and alcohol consumption. The results were published in the journal, Addiction.

The participants of the experiment filled out a survey given by the researchers of the study. Over 40,000 people from Finland, the United Kingdom, and France stated how much alcohol they consumed and how many days they took off from work for the past 4-7 years.

The survey was taken at two different points in time.

The researchers classified people into five categories that ranged from people who did not drink, the ones that claim they drank moderately, and those who were heavy drinkers in either the first, second, or both surveys.

Women who were classified as heavy drinkers consumed more than 11 servings of alcohol, while men who were considered to be heavy drinkers consumed at least 34 servings of alcohol.

For moderate drinkers, women who were classified under this category consumed 1-11 servings of alcohol per week. Men who classified as moderate drinkers drank 1-34 servings of alcohol per week. The amount of alcohol was based on European sizes.

The Surprising Results

Non-drinkers and heavy drinkers were more likely to call out of work due to mental disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, diseases of the digestive system, and diseases of the respiratory system. Information regarding absences was obtained from the national and employer registry reports.

"Drinking in moderation seems not to be associated with sickness absence," lead author, Dr.JenniErvasti, of the study, stated.

Ervasti continued that results of the study were "surprising" due to the various reasons why most non-drinkers and heavy drinkers missed work.

The results showed that people who were classified as non-drinkers came from a poorer background which could relate to more sickness and less work.

The researchers of the study did state that the findings were limited since it was conducted in Europe where the drinking and lifestyle habits are different from other places in the world. Ervasti did state that these results may help employers intervene if an employee is taking too much time off due to poisoning or injury.

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