A Drink a Day to Keep the Doctor Away?
Light drinking may be healthier than abstaining: new study
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2017 8:21 AM CDT
The benefits are more pronounced among people over 60.   (Getty Images / PeopleImages)

(Newser) – Boozing it up heavily has been linked to all manner of ills, from car crashes and broken relationships to cancer, but a daily drink (or two for men) may offer heart and other health benefits that teetotalers are missing out on. That's according to researchers who surveyed more than 330,000 people and found something of a sweet spot for both men and women who are light to moderate drinkers, particularly if they are over the age of 60, reports Time. "A delicate balance exists between the beneficial and detrimental effects of alcohol consumption, which should be stressed to consumers and patients," the study's lead author says in a press release.

For this study, researchers report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that light drinkers (fewer than three drinks a week) and moderate drinkers (up to 14 drinks a week for men and up to seven for women) were 20% less likely to die from any cause than those who abstain from alcohol, and 25% to 30% less likely to die from heart disease. Those benefits disappear for heavy drinkers (more than 14 weekly for men and seven for women), where one's risk of death climbs—especially from cancer. The Los Angeles Times notes that people ages 18 to 39 didn't enjoy lower death rates from moderate alcohol consumption, while adults 60 and older enjoyed the benefits more than those ages 40 to 59. (A little alcohol might boost creativity, too.)

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