Health and temperance have always gone together. But our current culture of excess, it turns out that heavy drinkers apparently live longer than those who abstain from alcohol.
Time reports that a new study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research followed 1,824 people between the ages of 55 and 65 for 20 years. In those two decades, 69 percent of those who didn't drink died as compared to 60 percent of heavy drinkers.
The sample group that had the lowest mortality rate (41 percent) was moderate drinkers -- those who have one to three drinks a day. So while the study affirmed the idea that moderation is a good choice, the idea that overindulging in alcohol could be better for you than abstaining is still a surprising result.
The study tempers the findings by noting that heavy drinking can lead to dependency and dangerous situations. But there isn't conclusive proof for why non-drinkers don't live as long.
The author of the Time piece, John Cloud, theorizes that alcohol does act as a social lubricant allowing heavy drinkers to former stronger bonds that allow for a support system of people who will notice if your mental or physical health is declining. Cloud contends that "nondrinkers show greater signs of depression than those who allow themselves to join the party."
This study definitely provides some drink for thought.