Well Being

Drinking Alcohol Increases Life Span

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Bottoms up! In some of the happiest health news we've heard all summer, drinkers live longer than non-drinkers – and there doesn't seem to be a hidden explanation for the alcoholic health boost.

Several studies in the past have indicated that abstainers tend to die sooner than drinkers, but many accredited this long-known statistic to the fact that many non-drinkers are recovered alcoholics who'd already done serious damage to their bodies and shortened their life spans before going sober. Some also suspected that non-drinkers tended to be in a lower socio-economic bracket, which indicates a number of other factors that contribute to a shortened life span.

But a team of researchers led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas showed that even across all levels of socioeconomic status, physical activity, social support, mortality rates were highest for those who'd never been drinkers, and they were lowest for moderate drinkers. (Heavy drinkers had the second-highest mortality rates.) The study followed 1,824 subjects between ages 55 and 65 who had had any kind of outpatient care within the last three years. Just over 69% of the never-drinkers died during the 20 years, 60% of the heavy drinkers died and only 41% of moderate drinkers died.

via TIME Magazine