Moderate drinkers who were women had one to 11 servings a week, while moderate drinkers who were men had one to 34 servings weekly. Heavy drinkers had more than 11 for women and more than 34 for men.
Furthermore, they found that both abstainers and heavy drinkers had a high risk of “sickness absence.” In fact, both groups were more likely to be absent from work than moderate drinkers.
They revealed that teetotalers had a high risk of work absence due to mental and musculoskeletal disorders and diseases of the digestive and respiratory system. And high-volume drinkers were called out due to injury or poisoning.
"Some diseases, or their treatment, prevent alcohol use, which may explain the excess risks among abstainers," lead author Jenni Ervasti said in a statement. "Moreover, participants to whom at-risk drinking causes health problems may be selected out from the labor market, that is, if they retire early or become unemployed. Then, the adverse effects are not seen in absence from work due to illness."
The scientists noted a few limitations. The trial took place in Europe, where lifestyle and drinking habits may differ from other locations. Plus, the data they received was self-reported.
The findings were published in the Addiction journal.