Happy Monday. Assuming you have valid ID, it’s time to get your drink on. And while we usually mean that when we say it, today we mean it especially. Because there’s a new paper in a journal called Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (fun read!) which suggests that abstaining from booze actually increases your risk of dying sooner.
Even more shocking: This is true even when you exclude folks who abstain because they’re alcoholics and have drinking-related health problems.
OK, we all know by now that “moderate drinking” (a/k/a one to three drinks a day) is good for you, especially “moderately” consuming red wine. But heavy drinkers actually live longer than those who don’t drink at all? Why? How? Thank you, God!
Even controlling for socioeconomic factors, exercise, good relationships, and solid social networks, scientists found the following:
Over a 20-year period, mortality rates were highest for those who had never been drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers, and lowest for moderate drinkers.
This, we can only imagine, blew their minds. Even though drinkers were more likely to get cirrhosis, cancer of the mouth, and cancer of the esophagus, people who never drank were STILL more likely to die earlier. How come? In a word: fun. Drinkers had fun. Fun is, apparently, healthy.
Of course, the scientists then go on to hammer home the stuff we already know: drinking can be bad, and addiction is bad, and moderate moderate moderate! Also, drinking can “lead to nonlethal falls and other mishaps” (true).
But at the end of the day, it seems that those who pound the hard stuff will live to enjoy another drink far longer than that uptight complaining stick-in-the-mud neurotic down the block who never falls down or loses her credit card.
Which, when you think about it, is a certain kind of evolution, no?
Like we said, happy Monday. (Related: “If You’re an Educated Woman, You Probably Have a Drinking Problem.”)