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September 24, 1927

Alcohol and Longevity.

JAMA. 1927;89(13):1084. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690130072044

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The renowned biometrician of the Institute for Biologic Research of the Johns Hopkins University presents in this volume a well written and somewhat caustic difference of opinion with those who are inclined to base their judgment regarding alcohol more on prejudice than on the available evidence. Dr. Pearl has studied the effects of alcohol on the lower species and has analyzed the available insurance records regarding man, as well as the evidence obtained by a study of an average population in Baltimore. He has, moreover, surveyed the entire available literature on the subject, as a result of which he comes to some simple conclusions:

  1. The moderate drinking of alcoholic beverages did not shorten the lives of persons in a varying large working class population of Baltimore.

  2. Heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages exhibit considerably increased rates of mortality and diminished longevity.

  3. If all drinkers are pooled together and compared with abstainers,

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