Blogs » Pop Goes the Culture » I'll drink to that: Study finds drinkers outlive nondrinkers

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Break out the bubbly, folks. In so-good-it-can't-possibly-be-true-but-it-is news today, a new study has found that moderate drinkers outlive both alcohol abstainers and heavy drinkers. Even more surprising, is that even heavy drinkers live longer than those who abstain from the hooch.

Seriously. Check it out. In an article on Yahoo News by Time Magazine, the study by the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research found that out of almost 2,000 participants followed over a 20 year period, just over 69 percent (heh) of the never-drinkers died during the 20 years, 60 percent of the heavy drinkers died and only 41 percent of moderate drinkers died.

(Note: Moderate drinking is defined as one to three drinks per day...not a 12-pack and several shots of tequila, you wacky college kids).

The researchers added that other factors probably play into those statistics, such as many people with lower socioeconomic statuses who can't afford to drink deal with more stress such as financial and job worries. But even factoring those in, (socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support), the six-member research team led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin found that mortality rates were still highest for those who had never been drinkers.

Of course, that's no reason to head out and get wasted every night. The article adds:

"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."

But apparently having a glass or two of wine with friends from time to time can actually be healthy.

And so, cheers, mates and I'll be drinking to your (and my) health tonight.