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Light wine intake is associated with longer life expectancy in men

2007-02-28 17:25

Alcohol, wine and men's health

Drinking a little alcohol every day, especially wine, may be associated with an increase in life expectancy. That's the conclusion of Dutch researchers who reported the findings of their study today at the American Heart Association's 47th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

The researchers found that a light intake of alcohol (on average less than one glass per day) was associated with a lower rate of cardiovascular death and death from all causes. When compared to spirits and beer, consumption of small amounts of wine, about a half a glass a day, was associated with the lowest levels of all-cause and cardiovascular deaths.

"Our study showed that long-term, light alcohol intake among middle-aged men was associated not only with lower cardiovascular and all-cause death risk, but also with longer life expectancy at age 50," said Martinette T. Streppel, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student in the Division of Human Nutrition at Wageningen University and National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Bilthoven, The Netherlands. "Furthermore, long-term light wine consumption is associated with a further protective effect when compared to that of light-to-moderate alcohol intake of other types."

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Previous studies have shown that light to moderate alcohol intake is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular death. However, it remained unclear whether a specific beverage was associated with more benefit and whether the use of long-term alcohol consumption was associated with increased life expectancy. Studies such as this cannot definitively show whether the agent being studied has a causal effect on health.

The Netherlands study

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