Study: Moderate drinking may benefit health of seniors

Senior citizens in retirement living who have one to two glasses of beer, wine or hard liquor may reduce their risk of death from any cause by 25 percent when compared to people who drink more than that amount or less, according to new research.

Dr. Sei J. Lee, lead author of the study, and his research team examine the self-reported drinking habits of 12,519 participants aged 55 or older who were interviewed in 2002 as part of a national survey.

Study: Moderate drinking may benefit health of seniors For the purposes of the study, a drink was defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

"We also looked at educational level, income, and overall wealth, because older, retired people can have low incomes but substantial financial assets," Lee said.

The doctor stated the study was the first to control for functional limitation, doing basic activities such as bathing, shopping and walking.

In the end, the study found moderate drinkers were less functionally limited, better educated and had higher incomes than the other drinkers in the program.

Though the results are promising, Lee said another study would be needed where they asked non-drinkers to begin moderate drinking and to see if they benefited over time.

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