Would you believe that abstaining from alcohol entirely could lead to a shorter life span than drinking regularly? Well that is what a study posted in the Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research journal found.

The study tracked 1,824 people between the ages of 55 and 65 over a 20 year period and found that only 41 percent of moderate drinkers died during the 20 years compared to 69 percent of non drinkers. 60 percent of heavy drinkers died during the 20 year time frame, meaning they also fared better than those who did not drink.

Despite the many health risks associated with drinking, the study finds that people who don't drink alcohol are more likely to die young. An article from Time offers a possible explanation for these startling findings. Time explains, "alcohol lubricates so many social interactions, and social interactions are vital for maintaining mental and physical health."

It's important to note that the study reminds people that it’s important to drink responsibly and that drinking can be dangerous.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Adam Berry