Results of the study point to healthier brains
There have been other studies in the past that found evidence that drinking helps preserve brain health, but the statistical association was not always consistent across these studies. The results of this study also point to benefits in survival and cognition when people consume alcohol regularly. Compared to people who didn’t drink, people who regularly drank were 2-3 times less likely to have cognitive impairments when they got older. This trend remained even for those who reported heavy alcohol consumption. In terms of longevity, it was found that alcohol drinkers were also twice as likely to live past age 85 than the group that didn't drink.
There numerous other factors about a person besides their drinking habits that could affect their longevity and cognitive function. For example, eating more greens and fruits versus animal fats and fast foods would probably help someone live longer and stay healthier. Exercising more also helps improve overall health. The researchers knew that this would affect their results so they decided to account for these variables in their statistical calculations. They were surprised to find that even after controlling for these variables, regular alcohol consumption was still correlated with longer lives and better cognitive function.