Drinking Decreases Deaths

Alcohol prevents more deaths than its abuse causes, according to research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The moderate consumption of alcohol (beer, wine and liquor) is associated with better health and greater longevity than is either abstinence or the abuse of alcohol. The researchers, led by Dr. Ian White, examined the links between drinking and a wide range of diseases. They found that, in the United Kingdom, 15,080 deaths were prevented through the use of alcohol, while 13,216 were caused by its abuse. Thus, the use of alcohol led to a net gain of 1,864 lives.

Although the positive health effects of alcohol consumption increase with age, it exists throughout adulthood. The positive effects outweigh the negative even among young drinkers in their twenties.

These findings are consistent with research conducted by others. [See Alcohol Saves Lives.]


  • Dodson, Roger. Alcohol prevents more deaths than it causes. Independent News (UK) 5-23-04.

Filed Under: Longevity