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Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Date:4/30/2009

Study finds half a glass each day boosts men's life expectancy by five years

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Men who regularly drank up to a half a glass of wine each day boosted their life expectancy by five years, Dutch researchers report.

Light, long-term alcohol consumption of all types of beverages, whether wine, spirits or beer, increased life by 2.5 years among men compared with abstention, the researchers found. By "light," they meant up to 20 grams, or about 0.7 ounces a day.

While numerous other studies have found similar benefits, study author Martinette Streppel, of the division of human nutrition at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, said 40 years of follow-up is noteworthy for many reasons.

"The main strength of our study was the collection of detailed information on the consumption of different alcohol beverages at each of seven measurement rounds," Streppel said.

The long-term, regular follow-up, Streppel added, enabled the researchers to study the effect of long-term alcohol intake on mortality.

The study is published online in April in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The Dutch researchers evaluated 1,373 men, all part of the Zutphen Study, started in 1960 and named for an industrial town in the Netherlands. The researchers followed them from 1960 to 2000, tracking weight, diet, cigarette smoking, the diagnosis of serious illness and other data, along with their drinking habits.

Over the follow-up period, 1,130 of the men died, half from cardiovascular disease.

The proportion of men who drank alcohol nearly doubled from 45 percent of the men in 1960 to 86 percent in 2000. Those drinking wine rose even more dramatically -- from just 2 percent to 44 percent.

The findings in more detail:

  • All long-term light alcohol drinking boosted life expectancy by about 2.5 years in comparison to abstai
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