Posted by: Pulse Clinical Team8 November 2013
The health benefits of alcohol may have been overestimated in trials because non-drinkers are more likely to have a long-standing illness, say UK researchers.
Two birth cohorts – one from 1958 and the other from 1970 – were used to identify people who had a long-standing illness in adulthood.
The researchers from University College London found that having persistent ill health made you 4.5 times more likely to be a lifetime abstainer from alcohol at 33 years and over 7 times more likely at 42 years.
They conclude that studies comparing the health outcomes of moderate drinkers to lifetime abstainers that do not account for pre-existing poor health may overestimate the better health outcomes from moderate alcohol consumption.