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Drink & be merry for tomorrow we may live

world Updated: Sep 09, 2010 10:07 IST

Three glasses of alcohol a day will help you live longer, according to a study.

The 20-year study reveals men and women who drink moderately are more likely to outlive those who drink heavily, reports express.co.uk.

Despite current health advice to have no more than two drinks a night, experts found that having three tipples does no harm. Worst off are non-drinkers - who are 51 percent more likely to die before moderate drinkers.

This compares to heavy drinkers, whose risk of dying is 45 percent higher than moderate boozers, experts from the University of Texas have found.

They suggested that people who don't drink have a higher risk of mortality because they are reformed alcoholics, who have already done long-term damage to their bodies.

The latest study of 1,800 men and women, aged between 55 and 65, excluded former problem drinkers.

It also took into account other habits that might affect lifespan, such as obesity and smoking.

The study said moderate drinkers may live longer because they are more likely to eat a balanced diet, exercise, not smoke and be middle-class which also contributes to a longer life.

Women are told to drink no more that 14 units a week - two single gin and tonics a day - and men 21 units. But 31 percent of women and 39 percent of men are said to exceed this.