Cheers to love! Study suggests couples who drink together live longer

A nightcap with your partner could also help your chances of staying together

From celebrating birthdays and anniversaries to holidays, there are plenty of reasons to raise a glass with loved ones. Experts even say couples should enjoy a drink together when there’s no special occasion.

According to a new study, having a nightcap with your partner could be the key to a longer life.

“We found, interestingly, that couples in which both indicated drinking alcohol in the last three months lived longer than the other couples that either both indicated not drinking or had discordant drinking patterns in which one drank and the other did not,” gerontologist and study author Kira Birditt said to UMICH news.

The intoxicating results came after 4,656 married or cohabiting participants — all over the age of 50 — filled out surveys every two years and completed at least three waves of the Health and Retirement Study from 1996 to 2016. The mortality data was collected from 2016.

During that time, the couples reported whether they drank during the past three months, how much and how often.

The analysis showed couples who both drank during that time lived longer than those who both abstained from alcohol or pairs where one drank but the other didn’t.

Birditt said she believes there are other factors to consider about the couple’s marriage not measured in the study — the amount of intimacy, for example.

“There is also little information about the daily interpersonal processes that account for these links. Future research should assess the implications of couple drinking patterns for daily marital quality, and daily physical health outcomes,” she said.