The health benefits of alcohol change with age… 90



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We know that significant research has concluded that alcohol, the substance also linked to hart disease, obesity and depression and anxiety has some interesting health benefits relating to antioxidant boosts, longevity and the immune system. But, new research has found that these benefits really do depend on what age you are.

According to the research published by BMJ, any health benefits from alcohol may be limited to women aged 65 and over – and even then may have been exaggerated by existing studies.

Using interview data from Health Survey for England 1998-2008 linked to national mortality data, samples of 18,368 and 34,523 adults were analysed by sex and age group (50-64 years and 65 years and over). Participants were interviewed about their average weekly alcohol consumption and use on the heaviest drinking day of the week. Results were adjusted for a range of personal, socioeconomic, and lifestyle factors.

Compared with never drinkers, protective associations were largely limited to men aged 50-64 years who reported consuming 15-20 units on average per week or 0.1-1.5 units on the heaviest day, and to women aged 65 and over who reported consuming 10 units or less on average per week and at all levels of heaviest day use.

Little to no protection was found in other age-sex groups, regardless of consumption level, say the authors. The authors also stress that protective associations “may be explained by selection biases”.

They conclude that one possibility is that this study “may have better isolated the true effect of alcohol consumption on mortality” and add that their results do not support the introduction of age specific recommended alcohol limits for persons aged 65 years and over.

In a linked editorial, Professor Mike Daube from Curtin University in Australia, welcomes this study as part of a growing body of evidence that alcohol intake is unlikely to offer any health benefits.

He argues that new evidence or health claims, “should be treated with great caution” and health professionals should discourage alcohol intake, even at low levels, for health benefits. Health advice should come only from health authorities, he adds, and that the alcohol industry “should remove misleading references to health benefits from their information materials.”

So next time you pick up that glass of wine and use the excuse, “Oh this will fight my free radicals” perhaps find another reason!

Tell us, how often do you drink? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. It may not fight my free radicals but it certainly tastes great and gives me a feeling of wellbeing and contentment on the evenings I do partake of a sifter or two

  2. Lets face it, many things we like are bad for us including wine. Guess it depends whether you want to be here for a good time or a long time

    1 REPLY
  3. Used to drink spirits but no longer drink alcohol. Drink soda water or diet coke – n probably classed as boring.

    5 REPLY
  4. Every week the experts come up with something that’s not good for us. Everything in moderation.

  5. I knew there had to be something positive about turning 65 thus year!

    1 REPLY
    • Get a life people, mostly wowsers replying, where are all the honest people, tell us the truth, don’t drink and worry yourself to death.
      Have a nice day!

  6. Good lord these experts yoyo around with their yays and nays. I will stick to my one glass at sundown and pretend I never read this.

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