Moderate Drinkers Live Longer Than Teetotalers: A Puzzling Study
People who consume one to two drinks per day are more likely to outlive people who dont drink at all, according to a new study. Even more of a surprise: Heavy drinkers arent likely to outlive moderate ones, but they have a better chance of a longer life than teetotalers do.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Texas and Stanford University, kept track of the drinking habits of nearly 2,000 men and women between the ages of 55 and 65 over a twenty-year period by monitoring which subjects survived longer, according to Wiley Publishing, which distributes health books. The subjects who didnt drink had the highest risk of death: 69 percent. Heavy drinkers had a 51 percent chance of death and moderate drinkers had a 45 percent chance of death..
Researchers theorize that the rate of death could be so high among teetotalers because many of them were former alcoholics who might also smoke cigarettes. But even after adjusting for former problem drinkers, the rates for moderate and heavy drinkers remained lower than that of non-drinkers.
Charles Holohan, the lead researchers, emphasized, though, that older people shouldnt necessarily start drinking. "It isassociated with increased falls, a higher risk of alcohol use problems and potential adverse interactions with medications."
And another study released in the last few days, said, according to Business Week, that even moderate alcohol use could increase the risk of a breast cancer returning in women who have already been diagnosed.