The University of California Irvine set out in 2003 to find out what the key to long life might be. They launched their mission by conducting a study of some of the “oldest-old” citizens in the United States. In the study, which they called the 90+ Study, they visited more than 14,000 members of a retirement community in California every six months to test them for neurological and neuro-physical tests, seeking to find an answer to what factors could be attributed to life beyond the age of 90. The common denominators they found might come as a surprise.
Among the factors associated with longevity, the 90 + Study found that subjects who drank two glasses of beer or wine every day decreased their chance of a premature death by 18 percent, and those who drank two cups of coffee a day saw a 10 percent decrease in the chance. As if this wasn’t enough good news for the Hedonists among us, they also found that subjects who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than their underweight or “normal” weight contemporaries.
“People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained.” - 90 + Study, University of California Irvine
Researchers haven’t been able to explain why this statistic holds true over the course of 15 years, but at this point it seems irrefutable. Whether it’s simply because those who continue to dabble in life’s simple pleasures have less stress and more joy in their lives, or because coffee and alcohol have life preserving powers, we wait anxiously to find out, beer in hand.