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Alcohol vs. Lifestyle - General Health

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General Health

Moderate drinkers tend to enjoy better health than do either abstainers or heavy drinkers. • A nation-wide survey in the U.S. revealed that daily moderate drinkers experienced significantly less acute hospitalization.31

• A nine year study of indicators of good health found moderate alcohol consumption to be associated with the most favorable health scores.32

• A study that examined nearly 10,000 men and women at age 23 and again at age 33 found that the moderate drinkers experience lower levels of poor general health, long-term illness, and psychological distress when compared to abstainers and heavy drinkers.33

• A study of nearly 20,000 Spaniards found that moderate consumption of any alcohol -- beer, wine, or spirits -- was linked to better overall health, compared to abstinence from alcohol.34

• A nation-wide Canadian study found that moderate drinkers who consumed alcohol daily had 15% less disability than the general population.35

• A Dutch study found that moderate drinkers under stress were less likely to be absent from work than were either abstainers or heavy drinkers. The investigators concluded that "abstinence is at least as unhealthy as excessive drinking."36

• A study of 3,803 individuals age 18 to 101 found that lifelong teetotalers as well as former

drinkers are consistently less healthy than light to moderate drinkers (those who consume up to 60 drinks per month). The health superiority of light and moderate drinkers extends to both physical and mental health.

• A review of the research reports that moderate drinking appears to reduce the risk of numerous diseases. "These include duodenal ulcer, gallstones, entric infections, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and diabetes mellitus (type II). Compared with abstainers, moderate drinkers exhibit improved mental status characterized by decreased stress and depression, lower abstenteeism from work, and decreased dementia (including Alzheimer's disease)."39

• Moderate drinking and exercise appear to slow down the health deterioration that occurs with aging, according to a study of about 2,500 people aged 65 and older who were followed regularly for about eight years. Those who drank and exercised regularly had fewer difficulties with their daily activities and physical functioning.40



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