Just four pints of beer a week is enough to increase the risk of a person needing hospital and mental health treatment during their lifetime, a report found.
The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found that risk factors increased according to the level of alcohol intake.
Researchers found that men who drank the equivalent of four pints, eight shots of spirits or eight small glasses of wine a week were more likely to be admitted to hospital or mental health services than those men who drank fewer units or none at all.
The figure rose again with men who drank up to the maximum number of weekly units recommended by the Government, as did the length of the hospital stay.
The 35-year study followed 5,772 Scottish men and concluded that the effects on NHS resources and staff because of alcohol-related illnesses were ‘substantial’.