Navigation Links
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Date:9/9/2011

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women who consume moderate amounts of alcohol in middle age are somewhat more likely than teetotalers to be in good physical and mental health in old age, new research finds.

The study doesn't prove that moderate drinking will lead to better health compared to not drinking, since it's possible that other factors could account for the difference. Also, the research doesn't examine the long-term cost of drinking, say, wine instead of milk with dinner.

And study author Dr. Qi Sun doesn't recommend that middle-aged women start drinking if they don't already. Still, "if you are an otherwise healthy person, and you're a long-term light-to-moderate drinker, this may have some benefits," said Sun, an instructor in medicine at Harvard School of Public Health.

Scientists have found evidence that moderate drinking can benefit health, particularly in terms of heart disease, stroke and brain function, Sun said. It's not clear exactly how alcohol benefits health, but Sun said it may have something to do with how alcohol reduces inflammation in the body.

In the new study, published in the September issue of PLoS Medicine , Sun and colleagues examined the medical records of 13,894 nurses who were middle-aged in the 1980s (median age was 58) and lived to be at least 70. The health of the women was updated through the decades, and the study excluded heavy drinkers or those with possible alcohol problems.

The researchers then focused on 1,491 women (11 percent) who had aged successfully, meaning they didn't suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes or report physical or mental limitations in old age. They compared them to the other women and tried to determine whether those who drank in midlife -- they tended to drink wine -- did any better health-wise.

Of those who had no major health problems in old age, only 22 percent were non-drinkers. Sixty-two percent drank about one drink a day (15 grams of alcohol); nearly 10 percent drank one to two drinks daily, and 3 percent downed two to three drinks a day.

After adjusting their statistics so they wouldn't be thrown off by factors such as the women's ages and whether they smoked, the researchers found that the healthiest women in old age were more likely to have been drinkers in midlife. Sun estimated that the moderate drinkers were about 20 percent more likely to be healthy later in life.

And routinely drinking light to moderate amounts of alcohol appeared to have more benefit than drinking only occasionally, the researchers said.

As for men, the study authors write that there's sparse research into the effect of midlife drinking on their health later in life.

David Melzer, a professor of epidemiology and public health at Peninsula Medical School in the United Kingdom, said people should be cautious about drinking too much. According to him, more than two drinks a day for women or three for men is bad for a person's health. And people should remember that those are "old-fashioned" sized drinks, not "supersized," he said.

He adds that the study limits itself to women who were in good shape in middle age. "The small possible benefit of alcohol may be outweighed in people with disease," he said, "and especially in those on many sorts of medication that can interact with alcohol."

More information

For more on alcohol use, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Qi Sun, M.D., ScD, instructor in medicine, Harvard School of Public Health, and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; David Melzer, Ph.D., professor, epidemiology and public health, Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, England; September 2011 PLoS Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Women, Diabetics Fall Fast Into Medicare Doughnut Hole
2. ICRW Says to Stop Violence against Women, Aim National Policies at Men
3. For Younger Women, Mammograms Not Too Effective: Study
4. Women, minorities more likely to see doctor of choice in emergency room
5. For some women, preventive mastectomies pay off
6. Studies Tout Alternative HIV Regimens for Women, Babies
7. Buprenorphine is better than methadone for opioid dependence in pregnant women, study shows
8. In Women, Diabetes Plus Depression a Deadly Combo
9. Men with macho faces attractive to fertile women, researchers find
10. Recalled ICD leads fail in women, youths most often
11. Surviving Melanoma May Take Different Toll on Women, Men
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age 
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... The RIDER ... and development of DRACO broad-spectrum antiviral therapeutics. DRACOs have proven effective against all ... May 3, 2016 at http://igg.me/at/EndTheVirus and runs for 60 days, we ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Nike Rugby Camp's success is due ... Diego. Willis, founder of Elite Rugby Camps and current Nike Camp director, has offered ... since 2009. , “I’m excited for our eighth summer here in San Diego,” ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... program created to assist the people of their local community. The agency pledges ... and community leaders. Their hope is to bring awareness to important local causes ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Dr. Elyson and Dr. Assili, dentist ... their office. Wisdom tooth removal, a common dental procedure, is performed for many adolescents ... improperly erupted, resulting in risks of complications. By providing wisdom tooth removal surgery at ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... Francesca ... N.C., changed her life forever with a same-day LASIK procedure at Christenbury ... poor eyesight. Dr. Jonathan Christenbury performed her surgery the same day as her in-office ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... DUBLIN , May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the addition of the  "Global Acute lymphocytic ... 2016"  report to their offering.  ... Global Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Market and ... into Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia pipeline products, Acute ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... TUCSON, Ariz. , May 3, 2016  As ... twice contracted rheumatic fever, which damaged his heart. ... But by June 2013, Shepherd,s heart was ... days from death. On June 20, 2013, the ... temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t). Like a heart transplant, ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016   Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced today that it is ... a video of two patients who tell their personal story and encourage those at risk ... Meet Jacque: Hepatitis C ... ... Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy (PRNewsFoto/Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc.) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: