THE J-SHAPED CURVE
In 1978, esteemed scientist Professor Sir Richard Doll, began a 13 year study of doctors looking at the level of their alcohol consumption and comparing that with mortality rates. The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal in 19941, found that, whilst the risks were greatest for those drinking excessively, drinking alcohol moderately (just under 20g per day) could extend your life span by as much as 10% compared to someone who drank either nothing at all, or very heavily.
The study concluded; ‘Among British men in middle or older age the consumption of an average of one or two units of alcohol a day is associated with significantly lower mortality rates than is the consumption of no alcohol, or the consumption of substantial amounts.’
Derived from Doll’s figures
- Alcohol Dosing and Total Mortality in Men and Women An Updated Meta-analysis of 34 Prospective Studies Augusto Di Castelnuovo, et al Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(22):2437-2445. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.22.2437