The findings, published online in the journal Addiction Research and Theory, are an outgrowth of ideas first proposed 15 years ago by Dr. A. G. Shaper of the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London.
In his studies on heart disease and death, Shaper observed that many people who abstained from alcohol did so because of advancing age, serious illness or the use of drugs whose effects were altered by alcohol.
He warned then, and has continued to warn, that counting such people as abstainers in alcohol studies would bias the results because their increased likelihood of disease and death was unrelated to the fact that they didn't drink.
But the idea that a couple of drinks are beneficial "is such an appealing hypothesis" that few have taken him seriously, he said.
"It's a lovely story, an appealing story," Shaper said. "Doctors like it, patients like it, everybody likes it."
You don't think the journal, Addiction Research and Theory, has an axe to grind, do you?
Via Tom Elia.