Study suggests abstaining from alcohol shortens lifespan

A new study shows that people who regularly imbibe alcohol are less likely to die young than people who never drink. 

The Mother Nature Network reports the study looked at individuals ages 55 and 65 over a 20-year period. Of the 1,824 study participants, only 41 percent of the moderate drinkers died prematurely compared with 69 percent of the nondrinkers. 

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The study is surprising, based on the increased health risks for cirrhosis and cancer for those who drink heavily. A possible explanation is that alcohol is central in many social situations and can help build bigger social networks.

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