New research claims alcohol consumption in old age could decrease mortality risks. However, more research will be required to cement these claims. Some studies suggest that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol protects heart functions and extends life. Others have spoken against these claims, stating these studies were flawed.
Other studies claim moderate level drinking can protect women from a stroke. This is due to resveratrol, which is an active component of red wine. Drinking two to seven glasses of red wine could also aid depression treatments. However, heaving drinking also raised depression risks.
Alcohol’s cardiovascular benefits are still doubtful. Moderate level consumption of beer, vodka, and wine are claimed to help against any cardiovascular diseases. However, these participants managed healthy lifestyles and followed Mediterranean diets. Drinking habits tend to change over time, so tracking long-term alcohol effects is hard as well. Researchers have also stated that insufficient data was available for any conclusions.
The HRS study, among the best in the USA, studied subjects for 16 years and was led by Katherine Keynes of Columbia University. Data from 8000 elderly adults were collected since 1992.
Researchers collected data from them, regarding alcohol habits and conducted interviews 2 times a year during 1998-2014. Five categories were made – occasional drinkers & moderate drinkers, heavy drinkers, current abstainers, and lifetime abstainers. An analysis showed occasional and moderate drinkers to have death rates lower than abstainers. Those who were currently abstaining had the top mortality rates.
But it is thought that these people could have ceased drinking as their health took a turn for the worse, a sign of reverse causation. Occasional and moderate females drinkers had lower chances of dying prematurely compared to lifetime abstainers.
Report authors warn that the results ought to be interpreted with caution since measurement errors and biases could be contained in them. Unknown factors could also have influenced results. Further research is required.