By Maggie O'Neill
Indulging on a glass or two of wine with dinner can lower one's risk of dying from all causes and especially from cardiovascular disease, a new study has found.
But heavy drinkers increase their risk of mortality, the study by the American College of Cardiology warned.
The study comes on the heels of a report that said moderate-to-heavy drinkers are more likely to live to the age of 85 without dementia, according to the Daily Mail.
While alcoholism and excessive drinking has been linked to a host of health issues, recent studies are proving the benefits of enjoying moderate amounts of alcohol.
The ACA's study said adults who drink moderate amounts of alcohol reduce their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease specifically.
"Our research shows that light-to-moderate drinking might have some protective effects against cardiovascular disease, while heavy drinking can lead to death," the study's lead author, Bo Xi, said.
He added: "A delicate balance exists between the beneficial and detrimental effects of alcohol consumption, which should be stressed to consumers and patients."
Researchers observed 333,247 patients from 1997 to 2009 for the study. The participants were asked about their alcohol consumption habits.
Alcohol consumption was divided into six potential categories: lifetime abstainers, lifetime infrequent drinkers, former drinkers, current light drinkers, moderate drinkers and heavy drinkers.
Current light drinkers had less than three drinks a week.
Moderate drinking is defined as having more than three drinks and less than 14 drinks for males or more than three and less than seven for females.
Heavy male drinkers had more than 14 drinks a week while heavy female drinkers had more than seven.
Throughout the duration of the study, 34,754 of the participants died. About 9,000 died from cardiovascular disease and about 85,000 died from cancer.
The study found that moderate male drinkers had a 13 per cent decreased risk of all-cause mortality and moderate female drinkers had a 25 per cent decreased risk.
Similarly, moderate drinkers decreased their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 21 percent for men and 34 percent for women. The statistics were similar for light drinkers, the study said.
The report found that heavy drinkers were 25 percent more likely to die than non-heavy drinkers. They were also 67 percent more likely to die from cancer. These increases were not observed in the female participants.