Heavy Drinkers Outlive Non-Drinkers: Cheers to That

woman drinking beer, generic, stock istockphoto

woman drinking beer, generic, stock
Will she live longer because of this beer? (istockphoto)


(CBS) Drink up... that is if you want to live a few years longer.

That's the highly unusual conclusion of a new study which suggests that non-drinkers die sooner than heavy drinkers. Moderate drinkers fair the best.

The paper, which appears in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, took a look at 1,824 participants over 20 years, according to Time.com. Sixty-three percent of them were men.

Scientists, led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin, filtered out "socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support," according to the site, and still found that nondrinkers just don't live as long as their drinking compatriots. Over the 20-year period, 69 percent of the nondrinkers died, 60 percent of the heavy drinkers died and only 41 percent of the moderate drinkers died.

Moderate drinking, according to Time, was defined as one to three drinks per day.

The findings are certainly confusing, since heavy drinking can lead to liver failure, mouth cancer and heart problems. And being a drunk can ruin friendships, career and family.

Still, as odd as it may seem, the old saying, "drink to your health," may be wise after all.


  • Neil Katz

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