Good news, booze-heads! A recently published study shows that regular drinkers are less likely to die prematurely than people who don’t indulge in alcohol. You read that right: Abstaining from alcohol completely can lead to a shorter life span than consistent, moderate drinking.
The new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that abstaining from alcohol can increase one’s risk of dying, and that also includes former alcoholics.
Moderate drinking is defined as having one to three drinks a day. Moderate drinking of red wine is known to improve heart health, circulation and can even help you mingle with a couple of strangers.
Led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin, the study looked at individuals between the ages 55 and 65 over a 20-year period. Variables like socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support and more were investigated. The results show that mortality rates were the highest for those who had never had a sip, lower for heavy drinkers, and lowest for moderate drinkers who enjoyed one to three drinks per day.
Reasons are still unclear, but one suggestion includes one’s socio-economic status.
According to TIMES:
“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. “
Helen Jupiter from Mother Nature Network says:
“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.”
With that said, since a little drinking is actually good for you in terms of stress-relief, don’t feel bad about a glass of wine with your work mates when the day is over.