Drinkers will certainly raise a glass to these research findings.
Claudia Kawas, MD, a neurology specialist and head of the 90+ Study at the University of California, presented her findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual conference in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 17. Kawas and her team have been conducting the study since 2003 in order to understand more about longevity, quality of life in the elderly, and neurological disorders like dementia.
This isn’t, however, carte blanche to binge-drink. The ideal alcohol intake is roughly two glasses of beer or wine a day, which the study found reduces a person’s chance of dying prematurely by 18 percent.
“I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity,” Kawas told the AAAS conference.
Those who enjoy a good meal with their wine are also in luck. Subjects who were slightly overweight, but not obese, had a 3 percent edge over their slimmer counterparts. Physical fitness was also found to be crucial, with those who exercised for 15 to 45 minutes per day improving their odds by 11 percent.
The lifestyle factor with the biggest effect on a person’s likelihood of avoiding an early death was a time-intensive hobby. Investing two hours a day on a hobby made a positive impact of 21 percent.
Maybe it’s time to pick up some knitting needles — and a nice Chardonnay?
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