Thanks to Slashdot, I hit upon the MSNBC article Want to live longer? Toss back a few cocktails, which quotes a recent research to say “alcohol in moderation may extend life span”.

An Italian study “based on pooled data from 34 large studies involving more than 1 million people and 94,000 deaths” concludes that “drinking a moderate amount of alcohol — up to four drinks per day in men and two drinks per day in women — reduces the risk of death from any cause by roughly 18 percent”.

This report, which appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine, also states that “things radically change” when consumption goes beyond these levels and that “Men who have more than four drinks per day and women who have more than two drinks per day not only lose the protection that alcohol affords, but they increase their risk of death”.

Reuters who reported this story understands this to mean “moderate drinking may lengthen your life, while too much may shorten it”.

True, ain’t it?

With moderate alocohol consumption, your chances to dying with other causes is not displaced greatly. One can still die of the various other causes one comes across. But with excessive intake of alcohol, “things radically change”. For now your greatest cause for dying may be related to alcohol itself – perhaps drunken driving, if not a drinking-related medical complication.

The moral of the story (and the research)?
Keep a tab on your alcohol consumption. And don’t mix drinking and driving – unless you want to add to the statistics…