Moderate consumption of alcohol by elderly people has been found to increase longevity.The finding, from a 10-year study of elderly people living in rural America, has also delivered a finding that adds weight to the results of other studies showing that moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of dementia.The study, reported in the latest edition of the Medical Journal of Australia, found that men aged 60-74 years who drank moderate quantities of alcohol lived an average of 7.6 months longer than non-alcohol drinking males. For women, the figure was 2.7 months.The study, led by University of New South Wales' Associate Professor Leon Simons, reported that consumption of more than 14 drinks a week among the 1,235 men and 1,570 women was uncommon.If found that dementia rates for drinkers and non-drinkers were 2.5/100 and 4.3/100, respectively, and suggested that the "21st century may witness a completely new role for alcohol in health."Chris Snow