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One of the more irritating things about hanging out with heavy drinkers, other than the where-are-your-keys debate, the plummeting conversation skills, the mad pool games, etc. has always been the nagging suspicion that, despite all rational signs otherwise, they'll probably outlive us all. And now, according to Time and a recent report by the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, there's proof that, Lindsay Lohan and Bill W. notwithstanding, the mortality rate of non-drinkers is actually higher than that of heavy drinkers.
No, the study did not take place at Promises. The researchers, a six-member team led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin, controlled for all sorts of variables -- including socioeconomic status, physical activity, number of friends, social support -- and found that mortality rates were highest for non-drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers and lowest for moderate drinkers. The 1,824 participants were followed for 20 years. Also, the non-drinkers studied were not those who had secretly been drinking themselves silly for years and then quit, but lifetime teetotalers. Cheers, I guess.
But before you call in sick at work and head over to The Varnish, the researchers did add their own PSA, cautioning that drinking might increase your lifespan, but it can also screw it up in pretty massive ways if you're not careful. Moderation, etc. Right.