Washington: Here’s good news for all those women who like to sip a glass of wine or beer at the end of the day – you are boosting your chance of good health later in life.
A new study has found that middle-aged women who have one drink a day (15 grams or less of alcohol) are more likely to have a healthy old age than their peers who abstain from alcohol, who consume more than two drinks a day, or who consume four drinks or more at the one time.
Qi Sun from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, USA, and her colleagues analyzed data on 13,894 women, drawn from the US Nurses’ Health Study, which has been collecting health information on survey participants since 1976.
The women had an average age of 58 at the start of the study.
The researchers found that women who consumed 15 grams or less of alcohol a day had 20 percent higher chance of good overall health when they were about 70 years old.
Those who drank five to seven days a week were almost 50 percent more likely to be in good health when they got older compared with those who did not drink.
They also had on average less major chronic illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes, or physical impairments or mental health limitations. The same is true in women who lived to age 70 and beyond.
“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,” the authors concluded.
The study is published in this week’s PLoS Medicine.