Heavy Drinkers Outlive Nondrinkers, Study Finds

Date: 01-09-2010 12:04 pm (11 years ago) | Author: Daniel Bosai
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- at 1-09-2010 12:04 PM (11 years ago)
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One of the most contentious issues in the vast literature about alcohol consumption has been the consistent finding that those who don't drink actually tend to die sooner than those who do. The standard Alcoholics Anonymous explanation for this finding is that many of those who show up as abstainers in such research are actually former hard-core drunks who had already incurred health problems associated with drinking.

But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that - for reasons that aren't entirely clear - abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one's risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers' mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers.

Moderate drinking, which is defined as one to three drinks per day, is associated with the lowest mortality rates in alcohol studies. Moderate alcohol use (especially when the beverage of choice is red wine) is thought to improve heart health, circulation and sociability, which can be important because people who are isolated don't have as many family members and friends who can notice and help treat health problems.

But why would abstaining from alcohol lead to a shorter life? It's true that those who abstain from alcohol tend to be from lower socioeconomic classes, since drinking can be expensive. And people of lower socioeconomic status have more life stressors - job and child-care worries that might not only keep them from the bottle but also cause stress-related illnesses over long periods. (They also don't get the stress-reducing benefits of a drink or two after work.)

But even after controlling for nearly all imaginable variables - socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support and so on - the researchers (a six-member team led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin) found that over a 20-year period, mortality rates were highest for those who had never been drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers and lowest for moderate drinkers.

The sample of those who were studied included individuals between ages 55 and 65 who had had any kind of outpatient care in the previous three years. The 1,824 participants were followed for 20 years. One drawback of the sample: a disproportionate number, 63%, were men. Just over 69% of the never-drinkers died during the 20 years, 60% of the heavy drinkers died and only 41% of moderate drinkers died.

These are remarkable statistics. Even though heavy drinking is associated with higher risk for cirrhosis and several types of cancer (particularly cancers in the mouth and esophagus), heavy drinkers are less likely to die than people who have never drunk. One important reason is that alcohol lubricates so many social interactions, and social interactions are vital for maintaining mental and physical health. As I pointed out last year, nondrinkers show greater signs of depression than those who allow themselves to join the party.

The authors of the new paper are careful to note that even if drinking is associated with longer life, it can be dangerous: it can impair your memory severely and it can lead to nonlethal falls and other mishaps (like, say, cheating on your spouse in a drunken haze) that can screw up your life. There's also the dependency issue: if you become addicted to alcohol, you may spend a long time trying to get off the bottle.


That said, the new study provides the strongest evidence yet that moderate drinking is not only fun but good for you. So make mine a double.
Source: Time Magazine


Posted: at 1-09-2010 12:04 PM (11 years ago) | Hero
- divineproject at 1-09-2010 12:14 PM (11 years ago)
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OK, where are the mister and miss MMANYAs, pls come, you have been given license to drink to stupor if you like...............

Posted: at 1-09-2010 12:14 PM (11 years ago) | Hero
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- vantheo at 1-09-2010 12:18 PM (11 years ago)
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WAT NEXT AM I GONNA HEAR?? CIGAR MAKES UR LUNGS FUNCTION BETTER.......NEXT TOPIC JARE!!!!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Posted: at 1-09-2010 12:18 PM (11 years ago) | Hero
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- qunodinga at 1-09-2010 12:19 PM (11 years ago)
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NOTED!
>>>>>>>>NEXT!
Posted: at 1-09-2010 12:19 PM (11 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- jjdogara at 1-09-2010 12:34 PM (11 years ago)
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OK!!!
Posted: at 1-09-2010 12:34 PM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
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- Alex11 at 1-09-2010 01:03 PM (11 years ago)
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 Lips Sealed Lips Sealed Lips Sealed
Posted: at 1-09-2010 01:03 PM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
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- missKalu at 1-09-2010 01:37 PM (11 years ago)
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i need to start drinking lol
Posted: at 1-09-2010 01:37 PM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
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- AVARTA at 1-09-2010 01:46 PM (11 years ago)
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Pls. can i have another BOTTLE?
Posted: at 1-09-2010 01:46 PM (11 years ago) | Newbie
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- famous5 at 1-09-2010 02:12 PM (11 years ago)
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good news for us drinker
Posted: at 1-09-2010 02:12 PM (11 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- sweetgift at 1-09-2010 02:21 PM (11 years ago)
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i dont believe it, God giveth life and he also taketh it at his own appointed time.........no matter what alcoholic drink does, am not gonna take it............ Grin Grin Grin
Posted: at 1-09-2010 02:21 PM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
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- negalways2001 at 1-09-2010 02:25 PM (11 years ago)
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When your their deteriorate let us also know...
Posted: at 1-09-2010 02:25 PM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
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- uzjosh at 1-09-2010 03:00 PM (11 years ago)
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ok now lets go drinking...............
Posted: at 1-09-2010 03:00 PM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
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- oceannaija at 1-09-2010 03:21 PM (11 years ago)
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I want to drink small stout... no big stout....
Bar man, another bottle of chevas
Posted: at 1-09-2010 03:21 PM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
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- bafyguy at 1-09-2010 03:28 PM (11 years ago)
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OK NA
Posted: at 1-09-2010 03:28 PM (11 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- Omapri at 1-09-2010 03:52 PM (11 years ago)
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what nonsense abeg poster bring beta topic....cos dis one na trash
Posted: at 1-09-2010 03:52 PM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
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- foifin at 1-09-2010 04:16 PM (11 years ago)
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drinking is also acceptable in d bible cos Jesus turned water o wine.
Posted: at 1-09-2010 04:16 PM (11 years ago) | Newbie
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- Pepesy at 1-09-2010 04:22 PM (11 years ago)
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le me go drink first, brb!
Posted: at 1-09-2010 04:22 PM (11 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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- vitool at 1-09-2010 04:41 PM (11 years ago)
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Yawn @ topic
Posted: at 1-09-2010 04:41 PM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
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- uprising at 1-09-2010 05:20 PM (11 years ago)
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make shayo dey go
Posted: at 1-09-2010 05:20 PM (11 years ago) | Upcoming
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- Adikpe at 1-09-2010 06:25 PM (11 years ago)
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IS THIS ONE AN ENCOURAGEMENT
TO DRINK OR WHAT?
Posted: at 1-09-2010 06:25 PM (11 years ago) | Gistmaniac
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