April 30, 2009

Study: A little wine adds years to life

A Dutch study has found that middle-aged men who drink about half a glass of wine a day live five years longer on average than alcohol abstainers.

Dr. Martinette Streppel of Wageningen University followed 1,373 men born between 1900 and 1920 for 40 years, ending in 2000, the Daily Mirror reported. She and her colleagues found that drinking small quantities of wine regularly reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The cardio-protective effects of alcohol only held up for light consumption in middle-aged men, she said.

Drinking up to two glasses of wine or beer or two shots of liquor daily added about two years to life, the researchers found. Heavier consumption provided less benefit.

The findings were reported in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.