Short Takes - 2005-01-24

A daily glass of beer or wine may help sharpen the minds of women into old age. Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School studied some 12,500 nurses and found that moderate drinkers aged 70 to 81 were 20% less likely to experience a decline in their thinking skills over a two-year period than women who did not drink at all. On average, those who drank a beer or glass of wine each day tended to have the mental agility of someone a year and a half younger than abstainers. The study appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine.