Light to Moderate Drinking May Not Be as Beneficial as Previously Thought

Magazines and health journals have been publishing studies for years saying a glass of wine is good for your heart. A recent study calls those findings into question.

Magazines and health journals have been publishing studies for years saying a glass of wine is good for your heart. But that may not be the case, according to a recent article by Pacific Standard's Nathan Collins. He points to a new study questioning previous medical data that claims an association with health benefits and moderate alcohol consumption.

In the study, researchers have found that compared to people who don't drink throughout their entire lives, only women over the age of 65 who drank lightly were able to reap some minor benefits from light alcohol consumption. As for all other age and sex groups — no dice.

Researchers from the University College London alongside colleagues from the University of Sydney looked into the Health Survey Data from England and found previous studies weren't entirely accurate in their assessments of participants. They argue that previous researchers never divided people who were life-long non-drinkers with people who were just now abstaining. Other researchers may have neglected to ask for a complete history of drinking, and only inquiring how many drinks they'd had in the last day, month, or year.

The team of researchers focused on 18,368 adults ages 50 and older. They split the data into groups of people who drank, currently abstain, and never drank. Former drinkers had quite a higher mortality rate compared to other groups.

The researcher concluded:

“Findings indicate that beneficial associations between alcohol consumption and all cause mortality may be attributable in part to inappropriate referent group selection and weak adjustment for confounders.”

They say that to really delve into the health connections, researchers will have to take up better practices:

“Future research should seek to move toward statistical techniques capable of analyzing complex heterogeneous drinking trajectories, such as growth mixture models.”

Read more at Pacific Standard.

Photo Credit: martin.mutch/Flickr

How Pete Holmes creates comedic flow: Try micro-visualization

Setting a simple intention and coming prepared can help you — and those around you — win big.

  • Setting an intention doesn't have to be complicated, and it can make a great difference when you're hoping for a specific outcome.
  • When comedian Pete Holmes is preparing to record an episode of his podcast, "You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes," he takes 15 seconds to check in with himself. This way, he's primed with his own material and can help guests feel safe and comfortable to share theirs, as well.
  • Taking time to visualize your goal for whatever you've set out to do can help you, your colleagues, and your projects succeed.
Keep reading Show less

Brazil's Amazon fires: How they started, and how you can help.

The Amazon Rainforest is often called "the planet's lungs."

Politics & Current Affairs
  • For weeks, fires have been burning in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, likely started by farmers and ranchers.
  • Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has blamed NGOs for starting the flames, offering no evidence to support the claim.
  • There are small steps you can take to help curb deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, which produces about 20 percent of the world's oxygen.
Keep reading Show less

Bigotry and hate are more linked to mass shootings than mental illness, experts say

How do we combat the roots of these hateful forces?

Photo credit: Rux Centea on Unsplash
Politics & Current Affairs
  • American Psychological Association sees a dubious and weak link between mental illness and mass shootings.
  • Center for the study of Hate and Extremism has found preliminary evidence that political discourse is tied to hate crimes.
  • Access to guns and violent history is still the number one statistically significant figure that predicts gun violence.
Keep reading Show less