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Wine Consumption Lengthens Life Expectancy

May 5, 2009

New research shows that very light wine consumption over the long term appears to lead to a longer life.

As part of the Zutphen Study, a group of randomly selected Danish men were repeatedly monitored between 1960 and 2000, and long-term light wine consumption was associated with an increase in life expectancy of nearly 5 years.

Dr. Martinette T. Streppel from Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and colleagues report in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health that the benefit was independent of total alcohol consumption.

During the 40-year monitoring period, 1,130 of the 1,373 men died, according to the report.  The average age at death was 77 years.

The report flowed along with past studies showing that long-term light alcohol intake was significantly associated with lower mortality risk.  Life expectancy of men with a long-term alcohol intake of up to 20 grams a day was 2.3 years longer than non-drinkers.  

Drinking more than that decreased the benefit.  Men that consumed over 20 grams of alcohol a day had a life expectancy that was 1.9 years longer than the non-drinkers.

A long-term intake of 2 grams of wine per day increased life expectancy by 2.5 years compared to beer and spirit drinkers, and by 4.7 years compared to nondrinkers.

Seventy percent of wine consumed in the study was red wine.

When the analysis factored in socioeconomic status, dietary factors and other lifestyle habits, the link between wine and longer lifespan remained the same.

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Wageningen University

JECH




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