Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

One drink a day may be related to good overall health in women when older, study suggests

Date:
September 7, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Women who drink 15 grams or less of alcohol a day (the equivalent of one drink of any alcoholic beverage) at midlife may be healthier when older than women who do not drink at all, who consume more than two drinks a day, or who consume four drinks or more at the one time, according to a new study.

Women who drink 15 grams or less of alcohol a day (the equivalent of one drink of any alcoholic beverage) at midlife may be healthier when older than women who do not drink at all, who consume more than two drinks a day, or who consume four drinks or more at the one time, according to a new study.

Related Articles


A study led by Qi Sun from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, USA, and published in this week's PLoS Medicine suggests that in women, regular, moderate alcohol consumption during middle age (average age 58 years) is related to good overall health -- that is, having no major chronic diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes, and no major cognitive and physical impairment, or mental health limitations -- in those who live to 70 years and beyond. The authors define this good overall health as "successful aging."

The authors used information from periodic food frequency questionnaires given to the 121,700 female nurses enrolled in the US Nurses' Health Study (which began in 1976) to assess the alcohol consumption of the nurses during middle age. The authors then included in their analysis the vast majority (98.1%) of participants who were not heavier drinkers (45 g/d) when middle-aged and examined the health status in the 13,984 women who lived to 70 years and over.

After discounting other factors, such as smoking, that might affect their health status, the authors found that women who drank 5-15 g of alcohol per day (between a 1/3 and 1 drink per day) had about a 20% higher chance of good overall health when older compared to non-drinkers. Furthermore, women who drank alcohol regularly had a better chance of good overall health when older than occasional drinkers: compared to women who didn't drink, women who drank five to seven days a week had almost 50% greater chance of good overall health when older.

The authors conclude: "These data suggest that regular, moderate consumption of alcohol at midlife may be related to a modest increase in overall health status among women who survive to older ages."

They add: "The 2010 US Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines note that moderate alcohol consumption of up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men may provide health benefits in some people. Our data support this recommendation and provide novel evidence suggesting that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption at the levels of one to two drinks/day or slightly less at midlife may benefit overall health at older ages in US women."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Qi Sun, Mary K. Townsend, Olivia I. Okereke, Eric B. Rimm, Frank B. Hu, Meir J. Stampfer, Francine Grodstein. Alcohol Consumption at Midlife and Successful Ageing in Women: A Prospective Cohort Analysis in the Nurses' Health Study. PLoS Medicine, 2011; 8 (9): e1001090 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001090

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "One drink a day may be related to good overall health in women when older, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906181545.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, September 7). One drink a day may be related to good overall health in women when older, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906181545.htm
Public Library of Science. "One drink a day may be related to good overall health in women when older, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906181545.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins