Study: Drinking Alcohol More Important Than Exercise to Living Past 90

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Instead of an apple a day, try a glass of wine.

Raise a glass to the golden years.

Making it past 90 years old may boil down to drinking a couple of glasses of alcohol a night, according to a study on members of the oldest demographic in the U.S.

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The 90+ Study, started in 2003, focuses on the fastest growing age group in America – the “oldest-old” – to determine what habits lead to quantity and quality of life, according to its website. This year, researchers at the Clinic for Aging Research and Education in Laguna Woods, California, focused on what food, activities and lifestyles are commonly featured among those living longer.

Analyzing more than 1,600 nonagenarians, the study results showed that people who drank two glasses of beer or wine a day improved their odds of living longer than those who abstained by about 18 percent.

“I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity,” Kawas said in her keynote address.

Exercising regularly and partaking in a hobby for two hours a day were also associated with longer lives. Surprisingly, people who were overweight, but not obese, in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did.

“It’s not bad to be skinny when you’re young, but it’s very bad to be skinny when you’re old,” Kawas said at the meeting.

Katelyn Newman, Staff Writer

Katelyn Newman is a staff writer for the Healthiest Communities division at U.S. News & World R…Katelyn Newman is a staff writer for the Healthiest Communities division at U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Read moreTwitter or reach her at knewman[at]usnews.com.