Drinking Wine Is Good For You! In Moderation.
Yakima Valley Wineries are celebrating a new study that finds those who drink in moderation - no more than 14 drinks a week and no more than three a day for women and four a day for men - have better overall scores than those who abstain completely.
The quality of life was measured using the Health Utilities index, which looks at factors including dexterity, emotion, cognition and mobility.
Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine studied 5,404 Canadians at age 50, and continued to observe them over a follow up period.
Most showed a stable alcohol consumption pattern and 'persistent moderate drinkers' were identified.
They found that these regular moderate drinkers scored highest in each of the health indices.
However, subsequent changes in quality of life past 50 were similar in all groups, except for those who cut down on drinking from moderate levels - and these showed signs of decline.
The authors write: "Overall, this study shows a positive relation between regular moderate alcohol intake and quality of life in middle-aged adults.
"The effects on the subsequent quality of life as one ages of continued alcohol consumption, or of decreasing intake, remain unclear."
But reviewers invited to comment on the study warned that the study did not take into account the reasons for people stopping drinking or cutting down.
Harvey Finkel, from the Boston University Medical Center, said: "As people age, even disregarding medical obstacles, social interactions generally decrease, which leads to both less stimulation to drink and less opportunity to drink."