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CU study illuminates mortality differences between nondrinkers and light drinkers
Date:7/18/2013

etween one and two drinks per day, on average, have a 9 percent higher mortality rate than light drinkers, while people who drink between two and three drinks per day have a 49 percent higher mortality. People who consume more than three drinks per day had a 58 percent higher mortality risk over the follow-up period compared with light drinkers.

Despite confirming that some subgroups of nondrinkers have a higher mortality rate than light drinkers, it doesn't necessarily follow that those people's mortality rates would fall if they began drinking, Rogers said. For example, people who were problem drinkers in the past might increase their mortality risk further by starting to drink again.

Also, people who don't drink at all, as a group, have lower socioeconomic characteristics than light drinkers, which could be one of the underlying causes for the mortality differences, Rogers said. In that case, starting to drink without changing a person's socioeconomic status also would not likely lower mortality rates.

"I think the idea that drinking could be somewhat beneficial seems like it's overstated," Rogers said. "There may be other factors that lower mortality for light drinkers. It's not just the act of drinking."


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Contact: Richard Rogers
Richard.Rogers@colorado.edu
303-492-2147
University of Colorado at Boulder
Source:Eurekalert

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