Talk about a buzzkill. New research suggests there are no healthbenefits to moderate alcoholconsumption.

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A meta-analysis of 87 studies on drinking led byDr. Tom Stockwell of the Centre for Addictions Research of BritishColumbia found that “low-volume alcohol consumption has no netmortality benefit compared with lifetime abstention or occasionaldrinking.”

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That finding threatens to upend the prevailing belief that thosewho regularly drink small quantities of booze – such as adaily glass of wine – are in fact healthier and live longerthan teetotalers.

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Prior studies that have found that moderate drinkers live longerthan non-drinkers may have failed to take into accountsocioeconomic characteristics that correlate with drinkingbehavior. Moderate drinkers tend to be better off economically thanheavy drinkers or those who abstain entirely from alcohol.

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“(Their) alcohol consumption ends up looking good from a healthperspective because they're already healthy to begin with,” Dr.Timothy Naimi, a Boston University researcher who co-authored thestudy, told NPR.

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He further pointed out that those who report not drinking at allaren’t necessarily lifelong teetotalers. They have often stoppeddrinking in response to a health condition. When those two groupswere separated in the meta-analysis – and socioeconomiccharacteristics were controlled for – the apparentbenefits of moderate drinking vanished.

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The good news for happy hour enthusiasts is that the study didnot reveal that moderate drinking is bad for you. "Itbecame a wash either way,” Naimi explained.

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