Booze beats exercise for living past 90, study finds

IRVINE, Calif. – If you want to live into your 90s, regularly attending happy hour is more likely to help you get there than regular exercise, according to a long-term study led by the University of California, Irvine.

The 90+ Study, which began in 2003, tracked 1,700 people in their 90s and looked at how their daily habits affected their life span.

“I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity,” Dr. Claudia Kawas, who led the study, told the San Diego Union-Tribune,

Among the findings of the study:

  • People who drank the equivalent of two glasses of beer or wine were 18 percent less likely to die prematurely.
  • People who exercised 15 to 45 minutes a day only cut that risk by 11 percent.
  • People who were slightly overweight — but not obese — cut their risk of early death by 3 percent.
  • People who spent at least 2 hours a day on a hobby were 21 percent less likely to die early.
  • Coffee drinkers (two cups a day) cut their risk of early death by 10 percent.

It was not clear what effect combining these beneficial habits had on life expectancy.

While the UCI researchers found a link between these daily habits and a long life, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the lifestyle choices caused the participants to live to 90.