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Drinking Alcohol May Extend Your Life

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the chug-chug-chug dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 548

Adolytsi writes "MSNBC has an interesting article on an Italian study on alcoholism. While the obvious notion of overconsumption of alcohol being detrimental to one's health is supported, apparently drinking it in moderation can actually extend your lifespan. A study on over 1 million drinkers and 94,000 deaths yielded the results: "According to the data, drinking a moderate amount of alcohol — up to four drinks per day in men and two drinks per day in women — reduces the risk of death from any cause by roughly 18 percent, the team reports in the Archives of Internal Medicine. However, "things radically change" when consumption goes beyond these levels, study leader Dr. Augusto Di Castelnuovo, from Catholic University of Campobasso, said in a statement. Men who have more than four drinks per day and women who have more than two drinks per day not only lose the protection that alcohol affords, but they increase their risk of death, the data indicates.""

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Define "drink" (2, Insightful)

neimon (713907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317526)

Four tumblers of middle-quality scotch?

Re:Define "drink" (5, Funny)

farlcow (671869) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317752)

1 pan-galactic gargle blaster

Re:Define "drink" (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317998)

They defined a drink as 10 grams of ethanol, which would make the appropriate amount for americans something like 1 tumbler of scotch, I believe (assuming 120 proof). If someone cares to do a more scientific conversion, rather than the half-assed one I just put together, we're looking for what content of scotch contains 30 grams of ethanol.

Things radically change (5, Funny)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317528)

FTA: However, "things radically change" when consumption goes beyond these levels

For starters, you wake up in bed with a stranger not knowing how either got there...

Re:Things radically change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317944)

For starters, you wake up in bed with a stranger not knowing how either got there...

No doubt it's even more embarrassing at geek parties where most of the attendees are guys...

Offtopic, but amusing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17318020)

Once lived in a dorm that was co-ed by door, and was awakened one night by a drunken female staggering in my door and flopping down next to me in bed...She'd gotten off on the wrong floor from the elevator, and had mistaken my room for her room. I don't know who the hell she thought I was...Anyway...Being a chivalrous geek, I just rolled over and went back to sleep...I assumed that she would understand the nature of her mistake upon awakening, and maybe, I don't know, invite me to breakfast or something.

Three hours later I was standing in the hall with no shirt, after being thrown out of my own room by a still-drunk girl who was convinced that I'd sneaked into her room in the night! One of my floormates called campus security (probably for their own amusement), and the whole thing ended up being written up (in garbled form) as a security report in the campus paper.

Not only did I not get breakfast, poor girl was so humiliated by the whole incident that she avoided me until I transferred 18 months later.

I think the moral is either: Don't drink the punch, or Let sleeping geeks lie.

Legal age (5, Insightful)

Kelz (611260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317530)

I still find it interesting that at 18 you're allowed join the military and die but you're not allowed to drink alcohol.

Re:Legal age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317564)

If that's what you find interesting, then you are boring.

Re:Legal age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317586)

If that's what you find boring, then you are stupid.

Re:Legal age (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317812)

If that's what you find stupid, then... oh, okay.

Re:Legal age (4, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317870)

Three anonymous cowards went into a bar...

Re:Legal age (4, Funny)

therufus (677843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317970)

How many drinks did they have? This is important as it may affect their lifespan.

Re:Legal age (5, Funny)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317606)

The military should have its soldiers drink 2-4 drinks per day. Casualties will drop by 18% and morale will rise.

Re:Legal age (4, Interesting)

faloi (738831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317610)

I still find it interesting that at 18 you're allowed join the military and die but you're not allowed to drink alcohol.

To be fair, though, bars around military bases tended to not pay a lot of attention to specific details like age when shown a military ID (at least back when I was in). That doesn't make it any more legal, but at least we could still show up to morning PT drunk. Believe it or not, it's an even worse idea than it sounds.

military & drinking (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317620)

Actually, if you join the military and are stationed in any Asian country, then you can drink. In the Philippines, bartenders dot no check the age of American soldiers.

Re:military & drinking (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317806)

In the Philippines, bartenders [do not] check the age of American soldiers.

Fair enough. In the Philippines, American soldiers do not check the age of Philippino girls...

Re:Legal age (1)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317652)

I'm pretty sure you're allowed to die at any age. But in regards to the first part of your comment, from my personal experience while you are not legally allowed to drink at age 18 in the US, if you are in the military the powers that be often look the other way. Unless you're a jackass and do something stupid while drinking you're most likely not going to get in trouble.

Re:Legal age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317654)

Only in America BTW, not the rest of the civilized world. Yeah, you yanks are crazy.

Re:Legal age (4, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317690)

I still find it interesting that at 18 you're allowed join the military and die but you're not allowed to drink alcohol. ... in the United States of America

Anyways, the problem with the age limit on alcohol consumption is that it gives teens/young adults the impression that drinking excessively is a mature thing to do; most people I have met who have drank from a young age tend to see excessive drinking in a completely different light than those who get to drink when they're 18-21.

Re:Legal age (1)

Kelz (611260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318022)

I do find it amazing in countries like Italy or Germany where the drinking age is quite low (I think its still 14 in both countries?), theres much less of a problem with people drinking to excess than there is in America.

Re:Legal age (5, Insightful)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317714)

Where's the ACLU when they could actually be doing something helpful.

There's no reason why 21 should be the drinking age when 18 is the age of majority.

People always spout some bullshit about responsibility, but the studies show that people starting to drink at 21 is more harmful than people drinking earlier. When people are younger, they have more parental supervision. They learn how to drink responsibly. When someone is 21 and out on their own, they have no parents to answer to and can do pretty much what they want.

LK

Re:Legal age (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317764)

Not to mention that irresponsible voting is a hell of a lot more dangerous then irresponsible drinking.

Re:Legal age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317900)

Because 16 year-olds drink with their parents.

Re:Legal age (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317940)

but the studies show that people starting to drink at 21 is more harmful than people drinking earlier.
citations?

Riddle me this... (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317942)

Why aren't 18-20 year olds voting as a block to change the drinking laws?

Re:Legal age (5, Funny)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317744)

Well, in certain countries, you're allowed to have (consent) sex at the tender age of 16, but you're not allowed to smoke/drink until you are 18, and not allowed to gamble until 21.

I guess it makes sense too, first you have sex, got (someone) pregnant, then you drink and smoke to numb your pain in making such a stupid mistake, and finally at 21, you resort to gambling to satisfy the needs for cigaratte, alcohol and your kid's school fees.

Re:Legal age (1)

rjfan (529592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317808)

You are allowed to drink at the on-base bowling alleys and such.

Re:Legal age (1)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317988)

Is this from personal experience? Because I really doubt that unless you're stationed overseas.

Re:Legal age (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317814)

Drinking is a privileged. Dying is a right. Either way, you still get taxed.

Re:Legal age (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317828)

I can't remember who said it, some comdeian, but it goes like this:
"If you're not supposed to drink and drive, why not restrict alchohol to those too young to drive?"

It would solve a few things, eh?

Re:Legal age (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317854)

Oh Christ, they've been having this damned debate forever, and have changed the drinking age twice in 30 years, for that reason. Kid, it's time you figured out the government doesn't make any damned sense. Forget it.

Re:Legal age (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317902)

I still find it interesting that at 18 you're allowed join the military and die but you're not allowed to drink alcohol.

Unless they've changed things, you can still drink on based if you are under 21.

Re:Legal age (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317908)

Well it was 18 when my parents were growing up, so they didn't care that I drank when I was 18, and I'm not going to care if my kids drink at 18. Of course after teaching them responsibility, which is the point. We have youth drinking problems in this country because we teach our kids nothing about actual responsible drinking as part of some crazy abstinance policy, then throw them into the wild when they go to college. This applies to other aspects of parenting as well.

Re:Legal age (1)

7macaw (933316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317978)

And also, smoking is probably more hazardous to one's health than drinking. The reason is, I suppose, is that it's rather hard to smoke enough cigarettes to cause problems to the society, like hitting other peoples' cars and other people themselves.
Society protects itself, not individuals.

Re:Legal age (1)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317982)

In many countries (specifically Israel), the legal age for drinking is 18, which is also the legal age for driving.

When you enroll to the military, you are NOT allowed to die. That is considered damaging military property.

Lower the drinking age, raise the driving age. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318002)

The drinking age was raised to 21 because of an increased risk from young people drinking and driving. For
some reason Congress decided to raise the drinking age to 21, and do nothing with the driving age. (Yes I know it was state legislatures that did it, but it was essentially a MAJOR push by the US Congress by removing highway funds if they didn't).

Frankly I think this was backwards. Peoples first experience with alcohol tends to be underage drinking (away from the protection of parents), or after they're adults (same deal). A lot of people tend to go overboard when they either first start drinking, legal age or otherwise. They also tend to have drivers licenses at the time, since the driving age is 16, and even lower at 14 in some states. That combination is not particularly smart.

Personally I think we should lower the drinking age to 16, so first drinking experiences can be under the protection of parents, and raise the driving age to 18. I doubt it'll ever happen since the religious right will cry foul about letting children drink (even beer and wine let's say), and middle america will cry foul because they don't want to drive their kids around because they can't get a license.

Man, I'm going to live forever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317544)

Or at least for a good million years or so...

aside: my captcha is "alcohols"

Four drinks a day? (4, Interesting)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317554)

Is that four drinks every day? Or is that up to four drinks in a given 24-hour period, from time to time? - i.e. four drinks on Saturday night, then several more scattered throughout the week

Because I don't hink I'd consider four drinks every day to be "moderate" drinking.

Re:Four drinks a day? (5, Funny)

Funkcikle (630170) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317622)

Perhaps I am just a lightweight, but if I were drinking four drinks a day I would expect my chances of dying in a variety of ways to decrease, simply due to the fact that I was spending most of my time either singing "Brown Eyed Girl" or hugging people - both known to prolong life, generate vitality and fight discombobulation of the spleen.

Re:Four drinks a day? (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317678)

Depends on who you hug.

Re:Four drinks a day? (0)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317732)

"pending most of my time either singing 'Brown Eyed Girl' or hugging people - both known to prolong life"

You must be female. Because if you are a guy that kind of behavior would most likely result in an ass beating or a night in jail.

Re:Four drinks a day? (2, Funny)

Funkcikle (630170) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317934)

You must be female. Because if you are a guy that kind of behavior would most likely result in an ass beating or a night in jail.
Clearly you do not know what kind of guy I am. Bring on the ass-jail combo, I say, and fetch the bucket of soapy frogs! And one more martini, please.

Re:Four drinks a day? (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318030)

...or a night in jail.
In which case you would probably get both.

Re:Four drinks a day? (2, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317774)

What do you drink, Jack Daniels by the pint? Most people I know, even lightweights, can handle an aperitif or two, a couple of glasses of wine with a meal, maybe a brandy or whisky after, without being particularly drunk. So I guess it depends what you count as one drink, and how fast you're chucking them down.

Re:Four drinks a day? (4, Informative)

pclminion (145572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317680)

Shotgunning four drinks one after the other (binging, basically) is one thing. Drinking four drinks over the course of a six hour evening is something else. I'm kind of surprised at the number as well. Wikipedia's page on cirrhosis states that "There is great variability in the amount of alcohol needed to cause cirrhosis (as little as 3-4 drinks a day in some men and 2-3 in some women)." This seems to put 3-4 drinks as a LOWER bound on the danger zone. There may be people (quite a few people in fact) who can tolerate more than that.

Re:Four drinks a day? (1)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317872)

the liver can process one drink(1 glass of beer/1 shot)per hour. drink any faster than that and it has to play catch up. that is where it becomes detrimental to your health

Re:Four drinks a day? (1)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318054)

"the liver can process one drink(1 glass of beer/1 shot)per hour"

That's not for everyone, only a rough standard. So you're also saying that I can have one drink an hour perpetually and I'll never have any negative health effects? Bring it on!

Re:Four drinks a day? (2, Insightful)

Kevster (102318) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317770)

IIRC, that's four drinks every day, but only if you drink with your meals (presumably lunch and supper). Drinking outside of mealtime (bar hopping, happy hour after work, etc.) has a negative effect.

Re:Four drinks a day? (5, Funny)

hchaos (683337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317786)

Because I don't hink I'd consider four drinks every day to be "moderate" drinking.
Yeah, I barely consider four drinks every day to be drinking at all!

Re:Four drinks a day? (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317896)

This was an Italian study. It's common in Italy to have a glass of wine with every meal. Maybe even an after-dinner drink. It's not like in America where drinking is primarily done all at night at some bar....

Re:Four drinks a day? (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317990)

Because I don't hink I'd consider four drinks every day to be "moderate" drinking.
I don't either, but it wouldn't be too difficult to have four drinks daily without getting drunk. One in the morning, one at lunchtime, one right after work, and one late in the evening just before going to bed. If you don't want the one in the morning, you can have one around 15:00 instead.

Is that why beer bellies live so long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317556)

Is that why beer bellies live so long?

Can't drink (5, Insightful)

Terminal Saint (668751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317558)

I wondered if they remembered to take into account people who don't drink because of pre-existing health conditions that result in shorter life spans. That's a variable they tend to forget in these studies...

Re:Can't drink (2, Insightful)

booyabazooka (833351) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317772)

Also consider who can afford to drink regularly (and afford healthcare)... Or perhaps the simple confound that people who drink moderately tend to also take other things in moderation (cholesterol, smoking, etc.)

Re:Can't drink (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317838)

I wondered if they remembered to take into account people who don't drink because of pre-existing health conditions that result in shorter life spans.

Yes. Well, sort of. They normalized for dietary habits, physical activity, and general health as they correlate to drinking and it resulted in a positive correlation, but it is unclear from the summary I read if that is the number reported or a smaller positive correlation. I suspect the latter. This article about the study also left out the difference between the European and American data and results. For Americans, three drinks was the point where the numbers no longer provided a benefit, probably because Americans are more likely to drink all of it at once and without food, rather than with meals.

Re:Can't drink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17318036)

Or maybe the correlation has another cause:

Perhaps its the moderate overall lifestyle which lets people live longer, not their moderate drinking habits specifically...
Perhaps modest people live longer _despite_ drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, not because of it.
Just maybe..

The things i do (4, Funny)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317560)

The things I do for my health ... *hic*

Makes me happy (2, Funny)

WhatsAProGingrass (726851) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317576)

Good moods will help prevent a cold and alcohol will extend my lifespan. Good thing alcohol puts me in a good mood.

Is this new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317582)

I've heard this for years. Is this supposed to be new information?

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317588)

Looks like I will reach my 100th birthday

Alcohol + what? (1)

80's Greg (457939) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317592)

It would be interesting to find out what types of drinks this included, and / or what types yielded different results. For some reason I'm sure consuming the same amount of alcohol found in Absinthe is a lot more different than the same amount in wine or beer.

Re:Alcohol + what? (2, Interesting)

sRev (846312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317664)

Or, is it that the behavior of enjoying a drink or two a day is correlated with something else that extends longevity (e.g., having more friends, being more relaxed and less stressed, etc.).

Re:Alcohol + what? (1)

80's Greg (457939) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317790)

Exactly - the same way if drinking makes you more angry and upset, you could show how drinking shortens life span. It's really on an individual basis, but I think it's safe to say that having a few drinks every day will cheer most people up, which probably has a much greater affect of increasing longevity than the alcohol itself.

Re:Alcohol + what? (1)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317784)

Ahhhhh ahhhhhhh!!
The superlatives!!!!!
Nooooo!

Re:Alcohol + what? (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317816)

When they talk about Blood Alcohol levels and drinks, I've usually seen them define a drink as one of:

  • 1.5 ounces of spirits at 40%
  • a standard bottle of beer (~600mL?)
  • a glass of wine (around 350-400mL I believe)

So, depending on the percentage of alcohol in the absinthe, you could say a drink is anywhere from about .5 ounces to .75 ounces, give or take.

Make up your mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317598)

The last study I remember said more than 4 drinks a week and you had a "drinking problem"

I'm off work tomorrow so I'll hit the gin tonight just to be safe.

Re:Make up your mind (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317624)

Clearly, from this study, if you're having 4 drinks a week, you DO have a drinking problem. Specifically, your problem is you aren't drinking enough.

Huzzah! (1)

metalligoth (672285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317602)

To celebrate this study, I'm going to have a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey!

Finally (2)

The Anarchist Avenge (1004563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317612)

Justification for drunken Quake!

Re:Finally (1)

TacNuke (890744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317676)

Best time I ever had playing Medal of Honor online was while intoxicated. (Probably the only way to enjoy it)

Re:Finally (1)

The Anarchist Avenge (1004563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317748)

There's nothing like the combination of Quake1 deathmatch and a 12-pack of Blacklabel.

Chance of death (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317640)

So the original chance of death is 100%, this reduces it by 18%, so that means that 18 our of every 100 people who drink 4 drinks a day will be immortal?

I see how it started now. In the end there can be only one.

Re:Chance of death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317736)

Unfortunately, the DM thought of this ahead of time. You have to roll that save vs. fortitude every day, as opposed to a single roll. :(

I am INVINCIBLE! (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317668)

...reduces the risk of death from any cause by roughly 18 percent

So, I am 18% less likely to get shot?
18% less likely to contract black death?
18% less likely to bleed to death after stripping, and severing a major vein on a razor wire fence?

AWSOME /me wanders off to find 4 bottles of rum.

(what, they said 4 drinks!)

Re:I am INVINCIBLE! (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317728)

Use preview, close tags properly, post first, drink after.

Not surprising (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317670)

I thought this was obvious given that Good Moods Prevent Colds [slashdot.org]

My rule... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317674)

I bottle of fine Fat Tire amber ale every week is enough to keep the gnomes away!

Doing cocaine may extend your lifespan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317682)

A new Columbian study on the use of cocaine concluded that apparently doing cocaine in moderation (4 times a day for men and 2 times a day for women) can actually extend your lifespan.

See your local cocaine dealer today!

So let me get this straight (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317686)

If I drink a lot of red wine,
and half-starve myself,
and stay out of the sunlight,
and smoke copious amounts of pot,
and drink lots of espresso and tea...

actually fuck it, I don't care how long I live, whatever time I have will be really goddammed fun.

From any cause (1)

mfender9 (725994) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317702)

From TFA: drinking a moderate amount of alcohol -- up to four drinks per day in men and two drinks per day in women -- reduces the risk of death from any cause

Even car crashes..?

Re:From any cause (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317856)

Sadely, yes.

Drunks don't die in crashes, they kill other people.

Suposedly this has something to do with thm being more relaxed. (admitedly, there is a good chance this is smiply an urban legend, as I can find no data for or against it)

Worldwide Recommendations... (2, Informative)

80's Greg (457939) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317712)

Check out the worldwide recommendations for drinking. Currenty (as far as this chart is concerned), the # of drinks men should consume is "no more than two drinks per day", and "no more than one drink per day" for women.

http://www.drinkingandyou.com/site/uk/biggy.htm [drinkingandyou.com]

breaking news! (2, Insightful)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317720)

This is only the 10,000th study done (this year) on this subject stating some good can come from drinking in moderation!

906,000 people lived! (1)

onion2k (203094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317740)

A study on over 1 million drinkers and 94,000 deaths

That's 906,000 people who didn't die! Pretty much 9 out of 10. I like those odds!

Reduce chance of death? (2, Funny)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317758)

According to the data, drinking a moderate amount of alcohol -- up to four drinks per day in men and two drinks per day in women -- reduces the risk of death from any cause by roughly 18 percent, the team reports in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Will it reduce my chances of dying after being hit by a bus by 18%?

waste of a study (0, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317782)

Oh good, another one of these studies. Alcohol can cause everything from nerve damage to throat cancer according to pretty much every other study there is. Hmm let's see, it kills bacteria on contact, burns when put on your membranes or other unprotected tissue because it basically destroys organic material, and is flammable yet indigestible and a cup of it pure will kill you...yup sounds perfectly safe, even GOOD FOR YOU! Total bullshit. It's like taking sleeping pills every single day for the rest of your life. It's horrible for you in the long run and will cause massive damage through nickle and diming your body to death. If you had four drinks a day like it said, not only would your liver would be toast but you'd be a stupid, idiotic, and probably abusive person to live with, everyone would hate you, you'd lose your job, get arrested, not remember any of that, and have severe brain and nerve damage. Just google "alcohol related problems" or "alcohol damage study" and you'll find about 10 articles telling the truth for every 1 of these BS ones. Btw the real most dangerous thing about drinking is doing it around me cuz you'll get hurt.

Your conclusions are erroneous (1)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317972)

Plus your wrong.

This study has been "revealed" too many times lately. Nonetheless it is completely true. Many things considered poison can be good for health in the correct quantities and vice-versa. Try technical scuba diving; oxygen becomes poisonous. A small amount of cayenne pepper every day is great for your circulation, doesn't mean I want to drink an entire bottle in one sitting.

Plus alcohol helps LOTS of people relax; something you probably should consider..

Belive it.

Re:waste of a study (4, Funny)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318062)

Wow buddy, you sound streesed. How about a drink?

The old correlation--causation confusion (5, Insightful)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317792)

Well, that would be *excellent*, I love a glass of wine or three a day. A beer or two on a hot day is just heavenly.

But unfortunately the correlation may not imply causation. i.e. people who live longer drink more, but not vice-versa.

  • Maybe really sick people don't drink as much.
  • Maybe the people that have four drinks a day have to be quite healthy to keep that up day after day after day.
  • Maybe drinking keeps them off the streets, or out of other dangerous places.
  • Maybe all the 4-drink-a-day people have died already and were not around for a survey.

Lotsa possible ways to spoil things.

W.C. Fields (1)

Non-CleverNickName (1027234) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317842)

To quote the comedian/heavy drinker, W.C. Fields, someone once asked him why he doesn't drink more water...his reply was "Because fish fuck in it."

Backwoods Cough Medicine.. (2, Interesting)

vmfedor (586158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317846)

Where I live, people still make their own moonshine in their basement. My manager told me that when she starts feeling a cold coming on, she'll take a shot or two of that nasty stuff at night and then wake up feeling great. But I guess when you're drinking stuff that is used for sterilization it's not surprising. :) However, I'm curious as to whether or not the "healing effects" are lessened if you don't manage to drink every day, sort of like when you stop taking antibiotics prematurely. Chock one up to good old fashioned redneck ingenuity. :P

Ahem... ANY cause? (1)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317858)

Does drinking more reduce my chances of dying from drinking and driving by 18%? Practice makes perfect!

Obligatory Simpsons quote (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317868)

Homer: "To alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems"

Stats 101... (3, Insightful)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317880)

Correlation does not imply causation. All we can say is that "people who drink a bit of alcohol tend to live longer," not that alcohol prolongs their lives. It could be that these individuals take the time to socialize and de-stress, which causes them to live longer. Or perhaps there are financial factors at play: someone who can afford to drink three or four bottles of wine a week is not likely to be living in abject poverty. Of course, it could also be that anti-oxidant properties of the beverages have a positive effect as well.

Vague (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317928)

There's a lot in the study that's vague.

What is "risk of death"? As was pointed out in a previous comment, it's unlikely that 18% of alcohol drinkers are immortal. Is this "risk of death" averaged over the course of a person's lifetime? Is a college student, who drinks socially on weekends, less likely to die than a parent of young children, who stays home on weekends and doesn't drink. What about socioeconomic factors? If you can afford a glass of wine with your lunch does that also mean that you can afford preventative health care?

And what about the "death from any cause"? I could see how alcohol might affect lipid metabolism which might affect heart disease. But does drinking alcohol lower one's risk of getting struck by lightening? I'm not seeing a direct mechanism there. And what about individual variation? Does drinking alcohol increase the risk of certain types of death while decreasing the risk of other types of death? In that case, whether drinking alcohol was beneficial might depend on what types of death a specific person was most at risk for.

So... (0)

wumpus188 (657540) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317950)

If I would drink while reading Slashdot.. would it improve my immune system and .. would JavaScript get more respect ?

4 drinks a day? (1)

bucktug (306690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17317964)

Normally I have one or two a week... Time for me to play catch up.

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17317980)

How many times do they have to announce this?

18 percent? (1)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318050)

Isn't the "risk of death from any cause" pretty much always 100%?
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