Full text: The alcohol problem

ils. 
i: 
ALCOHOL AND LONGEVITY 213 
there can be no doubt that a certain proportion of them 
would gradually lapse, and acquire habits of excessive 
drinking which would materially shorten their lives. 
Hence, when comparing the mortality of the two 
sections, we are really comparing abstainers with non- 
abstainers who include in their midst an unknown 
number of bad lives. Such lives may be sufficient to 
account for the whole of the increased mortality of the 
non-abstainers. 
Data relating to the largest and best known of the 
British offices are recorded in the Table,* and it will be 
seen that they are spread over a period of thirty-five 
to fifty-five years, and concern the deaths of 23,443 
persons insured in the general section, and of 17,530 
persons in the temperance section. On an average, 
the death rate of the abstainers was only 58 per cent. 
of the expected rate (calculated from the average 
experience of a large number of offices), whilst that of 
the non-abstainers was 8o per cent. of the expected 
rate—t.e., it was in the proportion of 138 to 100. This 
increased mortality means that persons aged 30 have 
an expectation of life of 35 years instead of 38:8 years 
—i.¢., a reduction of 3-8 years’, persons aged 40 have 
an expectation of 27-3 years instead of 30:3 years, 
and persons aged 50. one of 201 years instead of 
22 years.t 
Similar results have been obtained in a number of 
American offices, such as the Austral, the Manu- 
facturers’ Life, the New England Mutual. the Security 
Mutual, and the Mutual Life.t 
* “ Alliance Year Book,” 1924, p. 87. 
t “Alcohol: Its Action on the Human Organism,” 1921, Pp. 143. 
[ O. H. Rogers. “ Internat. Rev. Alc..” 1023, p. 221. 
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