Moderate daily alcohol consumption may be linked to healthy aging, according to a new study.
Aging is the process of growing old or maturing. Currently, the average life expectancy in the United States is about 75 years for males and 80 for females. Although genetic makeup has been shown to influence an individual's life expectancy, individuals are more likely to live long and healthy lives without disabilities if they take care of their bodies with proper diets, lifestyles and medications.
In a new study, researchers evaluated the potential association between alcohol consumption and healthy aging using data from food frequency questionnaires assessing alcohol consumption of middle-aged individuals. Data on healthy aging was then collected from 13,894 participants of the Nurses' Health Study who lived to the age of 70 or older. Healthy or "successful" aging was defined as having no major cognitive, mental health or physical problems, as well as not having 11 major diseases.
The researchers found that of all evaluated participants, 10.7 percent could be identified as achieving successful aging. Through analyses, it was determined that individuals with light to moderate alcohol consumption (15.1-30.0 grams of alcohol per day) had a slightly better chance of achieving healthy aging than non-drinkers. Furthermore, regardless of total alcohol consumption, individuals who drank moderately throughout the week (5-7 days per week) had a 47 percent increased chance of achieving healthy aging when compared to non-drinkers.
Additional research is necessary to further understand these findings.
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