(Reuters Health) – Adults who have a drink or two per day may have a lower diabetes risk than teetotalers — and the link does not appear to be explained by moderate drinkers’ generally healthier lifestyle, a new study finds.
A number of studies have found an association between moderate drinking and a relatively lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, whether that reflects a benefit of alcohol has been unclear. A central issue is the fact that, compared with both non-drinkers and heavy drinkers, moderate drinkers tend to have a generally healthier lifestyle.
In the new study, researchers found that among more than 35,000 Dutch adults followed for a decade, those who averaged a drink or two per day were 45 percent less likely than teetotalers to develop type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, the lower risk was seen among men and women whose diabetes risk was already relatively low because of their weight and lifestyle habits — namely, not smoking, eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.