Conventional wisdom (along with the American Heart Association) has long held that men can soak up the health benefits of alcohol by way of two drinks per day—while women have been told to not have more than one. Parity at last: Women who have a drink or two a day in midlife have better overall health in old age, finds a new study presented yesterday at the AHA's annual meeting.
A Harvard researcher reviewed 14,000 women who had made it to age 70, 1,499 of whom had no major diseases or physical impairments. He reviewed the amount these women drank around age 58, and discovered that those who had one to two drinks most days saw a 28% increase in their chance of "successfully surviving" to at least 70, compared with non-drinkers. The Wall Street Journal notes that the following qualify as one drink: a 12-ounce beer, an ounce of liquor, or five ounces of wine, "which is often less than the typical serving in a wine goblet." (Read more women stories.)