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Moderate Alcohol Consumption May Protect Against Disabilities
Date:1/22/2009

sm, she explained.

Moore said that a common recommendation for older adults is consuming about one drink a day. This study and other new data may change that standard. "There are healthy 65- to 70-year-olds who can take more than a drink a day," she added.

The UCLA researchers said their study was the first to follow a large, nationally representative sample over a period of years to look at the relationship between alcohol and physical disabilities. The findings were published online Jan. 15 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Dr. Kenneth J. Mukamal, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said the new research "adds to quite a substantial body of evidence that suggests in people who can demonstrate they can drink safely, there is no inherent medical reason not to drink." Studies by Mukamal and others have suggested that moderate drinking is associated with a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Alcohol isn't the only adult beverage that may offer health benefits. Drinking coffee daily in midlife may decrease the chance of Alzheimer's and dementia in later years, according to a new Finnish study.

Ths study, published in the January issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, found that people who drank three to five cups of coffee a day had the lowest risk. Their risk was decreased by 65 percent compared to those who drank no or little coffee, the study found.

More information

For more on the benefits and risks of moderate drinking, visit the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



SOURCES: Arun S. Karlamangla, M.D., associate professor of medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Alison A. Moore, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine and psychiatry, David Geffen School
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