A recent study is offering good news for those who booze, by suggesting that people who drink alcohol regularly may actually live longer than those who are tee-total.
According to the findings, those who abstain from drinking alcohol completely have a higher mortality rate than others while 'moderate' drinkers, who consume one to three drinks per day, have the lowest mortality.
The research, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research and led by Charles Holahan, examined 1,824 individuals over a 20-year period.
More than two thirds (69%) of tee-total participants died during the study period, compared to 60% of heavy drinkers and 41% of moderate drinkers.
"A model controlling for former problem drinking status, existing health problems, and key sociodemographic and social-behavioural factors, as well as for age and gender, substantially reduced the mortality effect for abstainers compared to moderate drinkers," study authors noted.
"However, even after adjusting for all covariates, abstainers and heavy drinkers continued to show increased mortality risks of 51 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively, compared to moderate drinkers".
They concluded: "Even after taking account of traditional and non-traditional covariates, moderate alcohol consumption continued to show a beneficial effect in predicting mortality risk".