Study finds heavy drinkers live longer
PEOPLE over 65 that drink up to three alcoholic drinks a day can look forward to a healthy retirement, according to a 30-year-study by the University of California.
The findings show that moderate to heavy drinkers are more likely to live to the age of 85 without dementia or other cognitive impairments than non-drinkers.
The study, which tracked more than 1,000 middle class white men and women in California, builds on the recent research linking alcohol intake to longevity.
It was revealed yesterday that Queen Elizabeth II consumes four alcoholic beverages each day.
However, the researchers warned excessive alcohol intake is known to cause alcohol-related dementia.
"This study is unique because we considered men and women's cognitive health at late age and found that alcohol consumption is not only associated with reduced mortality, but with greater chances of remaining cognitively healthy into older age," said lead author Dr Linda McEvoy.
Moderate drinking is defined as consuming up to one alcoholic beverage a day for adult women of any age and men aged 65 and older. For men age over 65, that constitutes drinking up to two drinks a day.
Heavy drinking is defined as drinking up to three alcoholic beverages per day for women of any adult age and for men age 65 and older. For men under 65, that would be four drinks a day.
Drinking more than four drinks a day is classed as excessive.
Lead author Erin Richard said: 'This study shows that moderate drinking may be part of a healthy lifestyle to maintain cognitive fitness in ageing.
"However, it is not a recommendation for everyone to drink.
"Some people have health problems that are made worse by alcohol, and others cannot limit their drinking to only a glass or two per day. For these people, drinking can have negative consequences."