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Cheers to a longer life!

world Updated: Aug 31, 2010 20:55 IST

Those like a drink or two in the evening may say cheers, as a new study has claimed moderate drinking helps adults live longer than teetotallers.

Researchers from the University of Texas, Austin, found that health benefits of drinking among older adults are intrinsically linked to moderation.

For their study, the researchers looked at data of 1,824 adults aged between 55 and 65. The participants were all former of current drinkers over the past 20 years.

They found heavy drinkers had a 42 per cent higher risk of dying in a 20 year follow up compared to moderate drinkers. Amazingly teetotallers had a 49 per cent higher mortality risk, the Daily Mail reported.

The scientists said this was because many of those who abstained from alcohol in the study sample were former problem drinkers.

They were also more likely than moderate drinkers to have health problems due to lack of exercise and smoking.

Despite the health benefits of moderate drinking, study leader Charles Holahan emphasised the need for common sense.

One or two drinks a day may be beneficial for some, but drinking a lot more can be dangerous, he said.

"Older persons drinking alcohol should remember that consuming more than two drinks a day exceeds recommended alcohol consumption guidelines.

"It is also associated with increased falls, a higher risk of alcohol use problems and potential adverse interactions with medications."

The findings of the study will appear in the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.