Maastricht University researchers recorded the drinking habits of over 5,500 people over two decades, finding that men and women who drink daily were more likely to reach old age.
• Researchers analyzed Netherlands Cohort Study data on participants born in 1916 and 1917, who completed questionnaires in 1986 when they were between 68 and 70 years old. These participants were then followed up for vital status analysis until they reached 90 years old, between 2006 and 2007.
• Results indicated that, overall in men and women, the highest probability of reaching 90 years old was among those consuming the equivalent of 250 ml of beer a day. These participants were 36% more likely to reach 90 than were abstainers.
• The study also found that wine intake was positively associated with longevity, most notably in women, whereas spirits were positively associated with longevity in men and inversely in women. Binge drinking was negatively associated with longevity.
• Lead researcher Prof. Piet van den Brandt suggested that the analyses shows “significantly positive associations between alcohol and longevity in men and women,” but the authors emphasized that non-drinkers should not take the results as a reason to start drinking.
• Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA UK) Chair Prof. Sir Ian Gilmore similarly commented that there “is no evidence to suggest non-drinkers should start for the good of their health.”
Original source: van den Brandt PA; Brandts L, ‘Alcohol consumption in later life and reaching longevity: the Netherlands Cohort Study’, Age and Ageing, Published early online 9 February 2020
Original Title : Men and women who drink daily have ‘increased chance of reaching 90’