IRVINE, Calif. — Drinking alcohol could be more important than exercise when it comes to living a long life, researchers say.
The 90+ Study from the University of California, Irvine seeks to find out why people in the fastest growing age group in the United States — the “oldest-olds” — live as long as they do.
Those who like to indulge in a moderate amount of alcohol should also enjoy the findings of neurologist Claudia Kawas and her team, who have been studying 1,700 nonagenarians since 2003.
After analyzing the habits and behaviors of 1,700 people in their 90s, they found that consuming roughly two glasses of alcohol or wine a day lessened the chance of an early death by 18 percent, according to The Independent.
A moderate amount of coffee cut the likelihood by 10 percent.
The paper quoted Kawas saying at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Austin, Texas, “I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity.”
Those who practice a hobby for a couple hours each day were found to have a 21 lower risk of dying younger, and exercise made a premature death 11 percent less likely, according to The Independent.
The study also found that those participants who were slightly overweight — but not obese — had a better chance of living longer.
However, while the researchers found a link between these daily habits and a long life, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the lifestyle choices caused the participants to live to 90.