To your health! Re-examining the health benefits of moderate alcohol use

Bisma Ali Sayed, Michael French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although excessive alcohol use and alcohol misuse contribute to a broad range of health problems, recent research indicates that moderate alcohol consumption may in fact be beneficial. The present study builds on previous research to investigate the associations between alcohol use and self-rated health status among young adults. Using data collected in 2008 from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), we use ordered probit models to determine whether the protective effects of moderate alcohol use are present after controlling for demographic, lifestyle, family background, and health-related characteristics. Our findings generally support earlier research with older samples, but some key gender differences are present. For women (n = 8275), moderate drinkers have better self-rated health status relative to former drinkers, infrequent drinkers, and light drinkers. Among men (n = 7207), the effects are mixed and less often significant. Differences in results between men and women point to the need for further gender-specific research and studies with other measures of health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume167
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

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Keywords

  • Health status
  • Moderate drinking
  • United States
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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