Moderate Alcohol Consumers Experience Lower Mortality Rates

Pint glass of beer

While the health risks of consuming alcohol continue to be examined, new researcher explains how those who do not drink alcohol and heavy alcohol drinkers notice a mortality risk that is higher when compared to those who consume alcohol moderately.

One question researchers were attempting to answer is whether or not those who choose to abstain from drinking notice an elevated mortality risk compared to moderate drinkers because they were prior heavy drinkers or are not healthy enough to consume alcohol in the first place.

While some risk of mortality can be explained from previous drinking habits or prior health problems, but even after including those factors, moderate drinking proved to have a lower mortality rate regardless.

This study involved collection of information from 1,824 adults between the ages of 55 and 65. The subjects could be classified in one of four groups: no alcohol, light consumption, moderate consumption, and heavy consumption. Researchers performed a follow-up 20 years after original tests were performed.

During the study, subjects were questioned about how much alcohol they drank each day, if they had any drinking problems, and additional questions regarding health and their social behaviors.

While this study kept both gender and age controlled, the mortality showed greatest with the no alcohol drinking and heavy alcohol drinking groups.

As researchers analyzed prior drinking problems or current health conditions, a significantly lower benefit in terms of mortality risk was visible within the moderate alcohol consumption group when comparing to the abstain from alcohol group.

However, while accounting any additional factors, alcohol abstainers noticed a mortality risk increase of 49 percent and heavy alcohol drinkers experienced a 42 percent increase when compared to those who consumed a moderate amount of alcohol.

Some research explains moderation drinking benefits may be from additional factors aside from alcohol. Moderate drinkers typically experience a higher quality of life than those who do not drink or those who consume heavily as their social status is typically higher, they exercise more, and also are generally less depressed.