Alcohol Lengthens Life: Moderate Drinking and Longevity

Alcohol lengthens life. The medical fact is that moderate drinking tend to lengthen life. That is, moderate drinkers tend to live longer than either non-drinkers or alcohol abusers. They also tend to be healthier in both body and mind.


I.   Study

II.  Earlier Research

III. Resources

Alcohol Lengthens Life

I. Study

Researchers studied drinking alcohol and the chances of reaching 90 years of age. To do so, they used data from the Netherlands Cohort Study. They began with 7,807 people who answered questions at age 68-70.

The researchers followed them until they reached the age of 90. Information was based on a total of 5,479 people with complete data.

Overall, the highest chance of reaching 90 was among light and moderate drinkers. That’s in comparison with abstainers. And this was true regardless of whether or not they had a history of various diseases.

II. Earlier Research

Those who drink alcohol past age 60 have a reduced risk of death. For instance, researchers studied 2,805 people. They were all age 60 and older. Data collection was for 9.7 years. Cardiovascular disease was much lower among moderate drinkers. That’s in comparison to both abstainers and heavy drinkers. Various diseases had no effect.2

alcohol lengthens life
Alcohol lengthens life.

The researchers again looked at the same people after 20 years. They found that any drinking lowered all-cause death. That is, it lowered all-cause death by 18% for men and 23% for women.3

Another study study looked at 24,159 people over age 65. It found that almost daily moderate drinking had clear longevity benefits. It led to over 10 years longer life. That’s in comparison to abstainers or very occasional drinkers.4

And a study of moderate drinking even reduces the risk of all-cause death among former problem drinkers.5

III. Resources

   Science Readings

1 van den Brandt, P. and Brandts, L. Alcohol consumption in later life and reaching longevityAge Ageing, 1–8

2 Simons, L. et al.  Moderate alcohol intake is associated with survival. Med J Aust, 173, 1211–1224.

3 Simons, L. Alcohol intake and survival. Nutr Aging, 2, 85-90.

4 McCaul, K. et al. Alcohol use and mortality. Addict, 105, 1391-1400.

5 Holahan, C. et al. Late-life alcohol consumption and 20-year mortality. Alco Clin Exp Res, 34, 1961–71.

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