English.news.cn 2011-09-08 09:41:22
BEIJING, Sept. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- Middle-aged white women drinking alcohol moderately are more likely to stay healthy than nondrinkers, according to a new study from Harvard.
The study has followed about 14,000 mostly white women since 1976.
As a result, compared with teetotalers, those who had 3 to 15 alcoholic drinks weekly in their late 50s were 28 percent higher of being free from physical disability, chronic illness, mental health problems, and cognitive decline at the age of 70.
Even having just one or two drinks per week increased a woman's odds of good health by 11 percent.
However, women should be aware that even moderate drinking has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, said Qi Sun, M.D., a lead author of the study and a nutrition researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health.
These findings don't necessarily apply to men or to nonwhite women. But they reinforced the evidence for the health benefits of moderate drinking.