Being Active Tied to Lower Alcoholism Risk
Saturday, March 14, 2015 03:05 PM

Getting more exercise throughout life is tied to a reduced risk of abusing alcohol that requires treatment, according to a new study from Denmark.  In a group of adults followed for 20 years, those who reported being more active in their free time were less likely to need hospitalization or treatment for an alcohol use disorder, but the direction and explanation for the relationship is unclear.

“Although we and for that matter others have not proven a causal relationship between physical activity and risk of developing alcohol use disorders, it is likely that there is a causal link,” said the coauthor of the new report.

“We know from other studies that physical activity reduces the risk of other psychiatric problems . . . as well as studies that seem to show that physical activity increases the benefit of treatment in alcohol use disorder patients.” Men and women who reported at least low levels of physical activity were 30 to 40 percent less likely to be diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder than those in the sedentary group.  Activity at work was not associated with alcohol use disorders, the authors write.

“These results strengthen the general recommendation of increased physical activity and add to the long list of beneficial effects of physical activity,” the author said.  Likely more than half of what determines alcohol use disorders is genetic, but environmental factors, like physical activity, are also important, he said.


Source:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/09/us-activity-alcoholism-idUSKBN0KI26E20150109