Drinking Alcohol Really Does Decreases the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Among Older Women
It is absurd. For the longest time, we have believed that alcohol has no real benefits. However, recently, a study has found that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol really does decreases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and this is especially true among Older Women! There are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 7% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 14.6 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 6.2 million people (or nearly one-third) are unaware that they have the disease.
Recent studies have shown that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol (as compared to drinking too much alcohol or no alcohol at all) can lower the chances of getting type 2 diabetes. However, only a few studies on alcohol and type 2 diabetes have included women, and very few have included older women.
Previous studies on the effects of drinking moderate amounts of alcohol (1-2 drinks) and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes have mostly been done on men or both men and women who were younger than 55 years old. The researchers wanted to study how drinking alcohol affects older women’s (more than 50 years old) chances of developing type 2 diabetes. (see Diabetes Symptoms)
Questionnaires were mailed to the women in the study. The women were asked where they lived and if they had conditions that put them at risk for any other diseases. Waist and hip, height, weight, and blood pressure measurements were taken at the beginning of the study. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol were also reported if these conditions were diagnosed by a doctor. The questionnaire asked about how much each woman exercised and how much they ate.
The questionnaire also contained questions about how much alcohol the women drank, how often they drank, and what types of alcohol they drank, both currently and in the past. The researchers sent out two follow-up questionnaires every 3 to 5 years. These questionnaires asked the women whether they developed type 2 diabetes, what year they were diagnosed, who diagnosed them, and whether they were being treated by diet, drugs, and/or insulin.
The researchers found that blood pressure was lower in the women who drank moderately, but it increased in women who drank more. During the study, a total of 760 new cases of diabetes were diagnosed. The research shows, however, that drinking alcohol in moderate amounts did lessen the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is rather significant piece of news as we can now safely drink our favourite wine and not feel guilty about it!