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5 shocking facts about drinking

By: Good Magazine on Dec. 31, 2010, 2:05 p.m.
Hand holding a flask

Photo: Brianna Harden

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Heavy drinkers outlive nondrinkers

Say what? While it’s not news to anyone that moderate drinkers — that’s one to three drinks a day, and no more than seven a week — have the longest life span, a paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research revealed that even binge drinkers were outliving the sober set (PDF). But, as reported by Time, unlike previous studies that had reached somewhat similar conclusions, this one spanned 20 years and seemed to account for every thinkable variable: “socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support” and more. One theory for the confounding findings is that alcohol reduces stress, and we all need that, right?