Abstainers Less Healthy

Lifelong teetotalers and former drinkers are consistently less healthy than light to moderate drinkers (those who consume up to 60 drinks per month) according to a study of 3,803 individuals aged 18 to 102 conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.

The health superiority of light and moderate drinkers extends to both physical and mental health.

It is sometimes suggested that former drinkers may have quit drinking because of poor health. However, lifelong abstainers also had worse physical and mental health than drinkers.

The study, consistent with numerous others, appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


  • Green, C.A. and Polen, M.R. The health and health behaviors of people who do not drink alcohol. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2001, 21(4), 298-305.

Filed Under: Health