Every time we hear about someone living past 90 they always ask "Whats your secret"?
Now it appears it may be booze and coffee
A massive undertaking called the 90+ Study set out to a) identify the factors associated with longevity, and b) understand the prevalence of cognitive disorders like dementia in the ultra-elderly. Using the The Leisure World Cohort Study and focusing on 1,700 people aged 90 and over in the 14,000+ participant sample, they learned a lot — including the fact that moderate alcohol intake is indeed associated with long life.
And not just associated, but strongly associated. Like, more-so-than-exercise associated. Having approximately two glasses of beer or wine every day reduced the chance of premature death by 18%, versus a less impressive (but still significant) 11% reduction for moderate daily exercise. The scientists aren't sure why the correlation exists, but they're convinced that it's legitimate.
Some other findings:
- People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained.
- People who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did.
- The biggest behavior associated with reducing the risk of premature death? Engaging in a hobby for two hours per day. It pays to keep the mind sharp, apparently.
Before you crack open a cold one and toast to your good health, consider a few things. For starters, they're talking about a very moderate amount of alcohol — two drinks per day isn't anyone's idea of a good time, exactly. Also, consider whether or not you actually want to live to be that old: Almost 80% of people aged 90+ in the study were disabled in some way, and 40% suffered some kind of dementia. It's hard to endorse living beyond 90 if you're not really "there" to enjoy it.
That said, teetotaling will get you nowhere fast. Drink up and enjoy.