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March 29, 2024

Partners May Live Longer When They Drink Together

In an article for Newsweek, Kira Birditt discussed new research using the Health and Retirement Study which found that spouses who had similar drinking habits tended to live longer than couples where one spouse drank and the other did not.

“The purpose was to look at alcohol use in couples in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the implications for mortality. And we found, interestingly, that couples in which both indicated drinking alcohol in the last three months lived longer than the other couples that either both indicated not drinking or had discordant drinking patterns in which one drank and the other did not.”

Original research:
Kira S Birditt, Angela Elizabeth Turkelson, Courtney A. Polenick, James A. Cranford, Jennifer Ann Smith, Erin Bakshis Ware, Frederic C. Blow (2024). Alcohol Use and Mortality among Older Couples in the United States: Evidence of Individual and Partner Effects. The Gerontologist, 64(2).