Source: The Mercury, 23 January, 1997, p.6
PEOPLE who drank in moderation lived signifi- cantly longer than tee- totallers because of a reduced risk of heart disease, Australian research shows. A seven-year study of nearly 3000 elderly resi- dents from Dubbo in New South Wales concluded that men and women who had two or three alcoholic drinks a day lived longer. "Alcohol intake in Dubbo's elderly residents appears to be indepen- dently associated with a significant increase in life expectancy," the report said. "It is clear that alcohol intake appears to confer a survival advantage." According to director of the study, Professor Leon Simons from the Univer- sity of New South Wales: "The greatest risk to ab- stainers is heart disease which is the primary cause of death in Australia." But he warned that to gain maximum benefit, drinkers should consume just two to three glasses a day. "We are definitely not urging people to drink more," he said. He advised that moder- ation was the key to longevity, noting that those who died early were those who followed ex- tremes in behaviour. Professor Simons said the benefit appeared to be in the alcohol itself-not in any particular ingredi- ent found in beer,wine or spirits. AAP
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