Make mine a large one! Moderate drinkers live longer than teetotalers, finds study

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:10 PM on 30th August 2010

Good news for those who like a drink or two in the evening - you are far more likely to live longer than those who don't drink at all.

Researchers from the University of Texas, Austin, found the health benefits of drinking among older adults are intrinsically linked to moderation.


Drinking can actually be good for your health, researchers said... as long as you keep it to one or two


The study, due to appear in the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, looked at data from 1,824 adults between the ages of 55 and 65. They were all former of current drinkers over the past 20 years.
They discovered that the heavy drinkers had a 42 per cent higher risk of dying in a 20 year follow up compared to moderate drinkers. Amazingly teetotalers had a 49 per cent higher mortality risk.
The scientists said this was because many of those who abstained from alcohol in the study sample were former problem drinkers. They were also more likely than moderate drinkers to have health problems due to lack of exercise and smoking.
Despite the health benefits of moderate drinking, study leader Charles Holahan emphasised the need for common sense. One or two drinks a day may be beneficial for some, but drinking a lot more can be dangerous, he said.
'Older persons drinking alcohol should remember that consuming more than two drinks a day exceeds recommended alcohol consumption guidelines.
'It is also associated with increased falls, a higher risk of alcohol use problems and potential adverse interactions with medications.'