drink more live longerMy husband's doctor recently told him he should be drinking one or two alcoholic drinks a night. Living in our puritanical society, I was a little shocked.

I shouldn't have been, as a new study shows people who drink heavily live longer than those who don't drink at all. While this information has been argued against by AA (their position being people who are abstainers are likely to have abused alcohol earlier in life, and the damage is already done), the new study found people who had always abstained from alcohol died sooner than those with the tendency to guzzle it down.

Before you head to the pub for a liquid lunch, that's not the whole story.

It turns out my husband's doctor was really on to something, as those that live longest are people who drink in moderation, like his one or two drink prescription.

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 abstainers died during the 20 years, 60% of the heavy drinkers died and only 41% of moderate drinkers died. 
We know the alcohol and breast cancer connection, and the article points out there are other diseases that will kill you if you're a heavy drinker, like cirrhosis or killing yourself while driving drunk. Once again, the key is moderation.

So either have a few or learn how to relax enough to enjoy meaningful social interaction without alcohol. As the author of this piece points out --
... 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. 
Will this change the way you drink?


Image via Nestosjp/Flickr