According to a published study shows that frequent alcohol consumers are less likely to die prematurely than people who have never indulged in alcoholic beverages. Time reported that abstaining from alcohol together may lead to a shorter life than consistent, moderate drinking.
The tightly controlled study which looked at individuals between the ages of 55 and 65, for a period of over 20 years, and accounts for variables ranging from socioeconomic status to level of physical activity.
The study, led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas here at Austin, found that individuals who never had a sip of alcohol had highest mortality rates, while individuals who drank heavily had a lower mortality rate, and surprisingly, individuals who drank moderately and enjoyed one to three drinks per day has the lowest mortality rate.
Of the 1,824 subjects in the study, only a 41 percentile of the moderate drinkers died prematurely compared to a mind-boggling 69 percentile of the nondrinkers.
Meanwhile, the heavy drinkers fared better against those who abstained from alcoholic beverages, with a 60-percentile mortality rate.
Despite the increased risks for cirrhosis and several types of cancer, not to mention dependency, accidents, and poor judgment associated with heavy drinking, those who imbibe are less likely to die than people who stay dry.
A possible explanation for this is that alcohol can be a great social lubricant, and strong social networks are essential for maintaining mental and physical health. Nondrinkers have been shown to demonstrate greater signs of depression than their carousing counterparts, and in addition to the potential heart health and circulation benefits of moderate drinking (especially red wine), it also increases sociability.
While it’s always important to drink responsibly, this is one study that warrants raising a glass.
Originally reported by Time