ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
CANCER
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Trans Fat Labeling Gets Tricky
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Old-Growth Forests Dying Off in U.S. West
Restaurant Sushi May Have More Mercury Than Store-Bought Fare
Ozone-Depleting Inhalers Being Phased Out
EYE CARE, VISION
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
FITNESS
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Eat Light - Live Longer
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Add your Article

Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Men who regularly drank up to a half a glass of wine each day boosted their life expectancy by five years, Dutch researchers report.

Light, long-term alcohol consumption of all types of beverages, whether wine, spirits or beer, increased life by 2.5 years among men compared with abstention, the researchers found. By "light," they meant up to 20 grams, or about 0.7 ounces a day.

While numerous other studies have found similar benefits, study author Martinette Streppel, of the division of human nutrition at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, said 40 years of follow-up is noteworthy for many reasons.

"The main strength of our study was the collection of detailed information on the consumption of different alcohol beverages at each of seven measurement rounds," Streppel said.

The long-term, regular follow-up, Streppel added, enabled the researchers to study the effect of long-term alcohol intake on mortality.

The study is published online in April in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The Dutch researchers evaluated 1,373 men, all part of the Zutphen Study, started in 1960 and named for an industrial town in the Netherlands. The researchers followed them from 1960 to 2000, tracking weight, diet, cigarette smoking, the diagnosis of serious illness and other data, along with their drinking habits.

Over the follow-up period, 1,130 of the men died, half from cardiovascular disease.

The proportion of men who drank alcohol nearly doubled from 45 percent of the men in 1960 to 86 percent in 2000. Those drinking wine rose even more dramatically -- from just 2 percent to 44 percent.

The findings in more detail:

* All long-term light alcohol drinking boosted life expectancy by about 2.5 years in comparison to abstainers. Drinking more than 0.7 ounces a day extended life expectancy by nearly two years compared with nondrinkers.
* Wine drinkers who averaged just 0.7 ounces a day had a 2.5 year-longer life expectancy at age 50 compared to those who drank beer or spirits. And their life expectancy was nearly five years longer than nondrinkers.
* Drinking moderately was linked with lower death risk, and drinking wine was strongly linked with a lower risk of dying from heart disease, stroke or other causes.

Streppel couldn't say if the findings apply to women, but suspects the polyphenolic compounds found in wine, especially red wine, produce the heart-healthy effects.

The study adds to the literature of the health benefits of alcohol, but has both strengths and weaknesses, said Dr. Arthur Klatsky, a long-time investigator on the health benefits of alcohol.

"Once again, it shows that people who drink [moderately] do a lot better than people who don't in terms of survival," he said.

However, as with other research, Klatsky wondered if it's the pattern of drinking or something related to the wine drinking -- such as wine drinkers being more likely to exercise or eat a healthy diet -- that is the real link.

In the new Dutch study, he says, alcohol from spirits contributes the most to the total alcohol intake, more than wine or beer.

"It's a little hard to think that a little bit of wine is what is responsible for extending their life," Klatsky said.

The finding, like similar ones, applies more to middle-aged people than younger ones, he said. "People over 50 are the ones most likely to have health benefits from light drinking anyways."

Much more important in reducing heart disease risk, he said, is not smoking, exercising regularly, eating healthfully and maintaining a healthy weight.

-Kathleen Doheny

More information

For more on the health benefits of wine, visit the American Dietetic Association.



SOURCES: Arthur Klatsky, M.D., former cardiologist and investigator, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, Calif.; Martinette Streppel, Ph.D., division of human nutrition, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands; April 2009 Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, online

Last Updated: May 01, 2009

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