Evidence regarding health benefits of moderate drinking may be flawed, review suggests

Reuters (3/22, Rapaport) reports that evidence regarding the health and longevity benefits of moderate drinking may be flawed, according to the findings of an 87-study review published March 22 in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The CBS News (3/22, Marcus) website reports that after analyzing the studies, investigators “found what they call an ‘abstainer bias’ in most of the” research. In other words, “when researchers compared moderate drinkers with non-drinkers, the non-drinking group often included people who don’t consume alcohol due to other health issues, such as former drinkers who stopped.” That “abstainer bias” may “have made the moderate drinkers – those who downed anywhere from one drink per week to one or two drinks a day – seem healthier by comparison.”