Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wine, women and song, but especially wine 

This, it seems, is news you can use (emphasis added):

One of the most contentious issues in the vast literature about alcohol consumption has been the consistent finding that those who don't drink actually tend to die sooner than those who do. The standard Alcoholics Anonymous explanation for this finding is that many of those who show up as abstainers in such research are actually former hard-core drunks who had already incurred health problems associated with drinking.

But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that — for reasons that aren't entirely clear — abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one's risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers' mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers...

[E]ven after controlling for nearly all imaginable variables — socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support and so on — the researchers (a six-member team led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin) found that over a 20-year period, mortality rates were highest for those who had never been drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers and lowest for moderate drinkers.

We moderate-to-heavy drinkers will try not to lord our superior longevity over the rest of you.

CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.


By Blogger pam, at Tue Aug 31, 10:16:00 AM:

So glad abstention has never occurred to me. . .  

By Anonymous vikingTX, at Tue Aug 31, 10:56:00 AM:

And then there is that old saw about people who don't drink: when they wake up, that's the best they are going to feel all day long....  

By Blogger Don Cox, at Tue Aug 31, 02:15:00 PM:

The next question is, what do the abstainers die of? Is there a big excess for one disease, or is it across the board?

I drink very little, because alcohol makes me depressed. Also, alcoholic drinks are hideously expensive in the UK, because of the high level of tax.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Tue Aug 31, 02:16:00 PM:

Both good reasons not to drink, I would say.  

By Blogger Simon Kenton, at Tue Aug 31, 02:30:00 PM:

Lord it all you like, TH, so long as you do not (again) succumb to the temptation to publish crapulously.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Aug 31, 03:14:00 PM:

Well, nondrinkers tend to keep their marriages together at rates higher than drinkers. I will try to find the link to that study and post it later.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue Aug 31, 03:27:00 PM:

But how much of that drinking is triggered by failed or failing marriage, rather than vice versa? I know one poor man who was driven to alcoholism by his evil bitch harpy of a wife, the divorce, and said harpy's efforts to teach the children to hate their father.

He has since mostly recovered, for anyone feeling concern.  

By Anonymous vikingTX, at Wed Sep 01, 09:54:00 PM:

Evidently, prior the the 1920s and prohibition, taxes on liquor were the primary source of income for the federal government. With prohibition, they had to institute an income tax to compensate for the lost revenues from liquor. When prohibition went away, amazingly the income tax did not, but was added to the reinstated liquor tax to expand government.

Perhaps we should drink more if it means we can get rid of the income tax. (Like that would ever happen.)  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Thu Sep 02, 01:00:00 AM:

"Perhaps we should drink more if it means we can get rid of the income tax. (Like that would ever happen.)"

Of course it will never happen. But maybe it can help you forget about it for a few hours.  

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