I. The Study.
Researchers studied drinking alcohol and longevity among men. Specifically, they examined the impact of drinking alcohol on all-cause mortality, total life expectancy, and non-disability life expectancy among men age 65 and older.
To do so, they used a nationally representative sample from the Chinese Healthy Longevity Survey. They then compared death risks among lifelong abstainers, former drinkers, and current drinkers.
II. The Findings.
The scientists found that current male drinkers had much lower risk of death than lifelong abstainers. After adjusting for socioeconomic levels, they found that the average man at age 65 lived 18.0 years longer. That compared to 16.3 for the average lifelong abstainer.
In regard to non-disability life expectancy, they found that for men at age 65, it was 16.1 for drinkers. However, it was only 14.2 years for lifelong abstainers.
These findings are consistent with other studies of drinking and longevity among both men and women.
III. Abstaining: A Health Risk.
Abstaining from alcohol is a health risk. Not drinking increases the risk of many health problems. These diseases are of special concern to older people.
- Heart disease
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Prostate cancer
- Parkinson’ disease
- Kidney cancer
III. More about Alcohol and Longevity.
To learn more about longevity, visit
IV. Resources: Alcohol and Longevity.
A. Web Pages on Specific Diseases
- When Non-drinkers Begin to Drink, Cardiovascular Disease Risk Drops.
- Effects of Alcohol on Risk of Strokes and Heart Attacks.
- Risk of Osteoporosis and Drinking Alcohol. Drinking Reduces Risk.
- Alcohol Lowers Dementia Risk Nearly 40%.
- Drinking Reduces Alzheimer’s.
- Alcohol and Prostate Cancer.
- Drinking and Prostate Cancer Risk.
- Risk of Parkinson’s Disease Reduced by Drinking Alcohol.
- Drinking Alcohol Reduces Kidney Cancer Risk.
Yu, D. et al. Alcohol consumption as a predictor of mortality and life expectancy. J Econ Ageing, 2022, 15.