Why It's OK To Raise A Glass This Holiday Season

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A study from the University of Texas Austin suggests that individuals who drink regularly may live longer than those who do not drink at all. Read on to discover more details about this controversial study.

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Growing evidence suggests an association between moderate alcohol consumption and reduced mortality rates, but some have raised the question of whether former drinking problems and existing health problems play factors into these results.

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Time reports that the standard explanation from groups like Alcoholics Anonymous for such results is that many who abstain are former problem drinkers with incurring health problems.

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Psychologist Charles Holahan and his team of researchers conducted the study at the University of Texas. Holahan and his team used data from a 20-year observation period of 1,824 individuals to explore if these variables could explain the results.

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After controlling for problem drinking status and existing health problems, as well as other key sociodemographic and social-behavioural factors, the study found the mortality effect for abstainers did decrease in comparison to the mortality effect for moderate drinkers.

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However, even after adjusting for all covariates, the increased mortality risk for abstainers and heavy drinkers still remain significant, with increases of 51 percent and 41 percent respectively, when compared to moderate drinkers.

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Thus, the study concludes that even after "taking account of traditional and nontraditional covariates, moderate alcohol consumption continued to show a beneficial effect in predicting mortality risk."

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While you might be wary of sipping a few too many spiked eggnogs at this year's holiday parties, an eyebrow-raising study suggests that it may actually benefit you.

A study from the University of Texas Austin suggests that individuals who drink regularly may live longer than those who do not drink at all.

The Independent reports that the study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, followed a group of 1,824 participants over a 20-year observation period. Researchers found 69 percent of individuals who abstained from drinking died during this period, which is higher than the mortality rate of heavy drinkers (60 percent) and moderate drinkers (41 percent). A moderate drinker is defined as one who consumers one to three drinks per day.

When the study model is controlled for factors like former problem drinking status and existing health problems, the mortality effect for individuals who abstain from drinking is reduced when compared to moderate drinkers. However, the study authors note that the increased mortality risk for abstainers and heavy drinkers still remain significant, with increases of 51 percent and 41 percent respectively, when compared to moderate drinkers.

Check out the slideshow above to discover more details about this controversial study.

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