Couples Who Drink Together May Live Longer, Says New Study

Turns out, you do need more cocktail nights with your significant other because as per a new study, couples who drink together and share drinking habits, may live longer. A study published in the journal The Gerontologist reveals that couples who drink together are more likely to live longer and also have fewer conflicts. 

University of Michigan research professor Dr. Kira S. Birditt who’s the lead author of the paper broke down a theory known as 'the drinking partnership,' which claims that couples who have similar drinking habits have healthier marriages. Although it’s not exactly clear if drinking with a spouse is associated with better survival.

The recent study looked at 4,566 married, different-sex couples across the US who were over 50. Birditt interviewed the couples every two years. "The purpose of this study was to look at alcohol use in couples in the Health and Retirement Study and the implications for mortality," Birditt says.

The study did not analyse the type of alcohol or the regular amount couples were enjoying; the polled participants were only asked if they drank with their partner in the last three months and those who said they did, lived longer than those who did not.

The study says, “Analysis of average drinks per week showed a quadratic association with mortality such that light drinking predicted better survival rates among individuals and their partners compared with abstaining and heavy drinking. Further, similar levels of drinking in terms of the amount of drinking were associated with greater survival, particularly among wives.”

Birditt however made clear that the study defines’ drinking’ quite broadly and the result was no indicator that drinking more has associations with longevity. Drinking concordance among couples imply indicates better compatibility and quality of relationship and Birditt believes it also works towards increasng intimacy. 

“We've also found in other studies that couples who drink together tend to have better relationship quality, and it might be because it increases intimacy," Birditt said.