Nav: Home

A drink to healthy aging

December 12, 2007

Researchers at the University of Newcastle say a glass of wine a day may be of benefit to the health of older women.

A study by the University's Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, in collaboration with the Hunter Medical Research Institute's (HMRI) Public Health Program, indicates that moderate consumption of alcohol in older women, in line with Australian alcohol guidelines*, is associated with better survival and quality of life.

Researchers conducted a national survey of 12,432 older women using data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. The women, who were aged 70 to 75 years when the study began, provided information on alcohol consumption and their health over six years by completing questionnaires.

Results of the study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in 2006, indicate that survival rates were lower in women who did not consume alcohol.

"The study was undertaken to determine whether women who drank alcohol according to Australian recommendations could continue doing so from age 70 years and beyond. Our data indicates that these guidelines can safely apply to these women at older ages. Indeed non drinkers and women who rarely drink had a significantly higher risk of dying than women who consumed a low intake of alcohol," Centre Director, Professor Julie Byles, said.

"The health benefits that moderate alcohol consumption can provide are likely to be multiple. Alcohol use can be associated with psychological and social wellbeing which can be considered important health benefits in their own right. The social and pleasurable benefits of drinking, as well as the improved appetite and nutrition that may accompany modest alcohol intake, could also play a role.

"However, our study was not designed to provide evidence to suggest that non-drinkers should take up alcohol consumption in older age."
-end-
The study was funded by an HMRI Project Grant, supported by corporate and community donations to HMRI.

HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.

* The National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines recommend that women drink no more than two standard drinks a day on average, no more than four standard drinks on any one day and have one or two alcohol-free days a week.

Research Australia

Related Alcohol Consumption Articles:

The influence of alcohol consumption among cohabitating partners
Research has linked a partner's or spouse's drinking with changes in alcohol-related behaviors, but few studies have considered only cohabiting relationships.
Does alcohol consumption have an effect on arthritis?
Several previous studies have demonstrated that moderate alcohol consumption is linked with less severe disease and better quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but a new Arthritis Care & Research study suggests that this might not be because drinking alcohol is beneficial.
Moderate alcohol consumption linked with high blood pressure
A study of more than 17,000 US adults shows that moderate alcohol consumption -- seven to 13 drinks per week -- substantially raises one's risk of high blood pressure, or hypertension, according to research being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session.
Is alcohol consumption more helpful than harmful? It depends on your age
Studies of health effects of alcohol consumption may underestimate the risks of imbibing, particularly for younger people, according to a new study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
Link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer ignored by women most at risk
Middle aged women in Australia aren't getting the message about the proven link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer, at a time when more are drinking while cancer rates in their age bracket are increasing, according to a new study.
How much is too much? Even moderate alcohol consumption is a risk factor for atrial fibrillation
Excessive alcohol consumption is an established risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF), but what are the effects of moderate and mild consumption on AF?
Moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with fewer hospitalizations
A study of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention of I.R.C.C.S.
Moderate alcohol consumption may boost male fertility
The question of whether alcohol intake affects male reproductive function is controversial.
Alcohol consumption is associated with nocturnal leg cramps
New research finds that, among patients over 60 years old, there is a strong association between consumption of alcoholic beverages and nocturnal leg cramps.
Substance in hair may be a marker for alcohol consumption
A new Drug Testing & Analysis study reveals that measuring levels of ethyl sulfate (EtS), a metabolite of ethanol, in the hair can be used to assess alcohol consumption.
More Alcohol Consumption News and Alcohol Consumption Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.