A new study just released on alcohol consumption suggests that heavy drinkers will outlive nondrinkers. Wait, what? Is this a game changer?
The study done by a six-member team led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas, and released in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, followed 1,824 participants over 20 years, and found that mortality rates were highest for those who had never been drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers and lowest for moderate drinkers (which is defined as one-to-three drinks per day). The study used slightly more men, 63 percent; over 69 percent of the never-drinkers died during the 20 years, 60 percent of the heavy drinkers died, and only 41 percent of the moderate drinkers died.
Time magazine points out that the study (which you need a subscription to read) does not do a good job explaining their results, though they try to make sense of this data. Even though heavy drinking is associated with higher risk for cirrhosis and several types of cancer, they note that "alcohol lubricates so many social interactions, and social interactions are vital for maintaining mental and physical health." It was crazy when we discovered that beer gives us stronger bones, but this is next-level stuff. At least now we know that wine in grocery stores really will solve all our problems.