Alcohol consumption as a predictor of mortality and life expectancy: Evidence from older Chinese males

Dandan Yu*, Bei Lu, John Piggott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Alcohol consumption has significant health implications. This study estimates the impact of drinking on all-cause mortality, total life expectancy, and disability-free life expectancy for Chinese males aged 65 and above. Using a nationally representative sample from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS), we compare mortality risks in Cox regressions among lifelong abstainers, former drinkers, and current drinkers. We find that current male drinkers had lower risks of death than lifelong abstainers in general and the differences were statistically significant among those aged between 68 and 87 years. The interpolated Markov chain (IMaCh) approach is then adopted to calculate life expectancies. After adjustment for socioeconomic factors, we find that an average current male drinker at age 65 could expect to live 18.0 (95% CI: 17.4–18.6) years in total, compared with 16.3 (95% CI: 15.6–17.0) years for lifelong abstainers. His disability-free life expectancy at age 65 was about 16.1 (95% CI: 15.6–16.7) years, longer than the 14.2 (95% CI: 13.6–14.9) years for lifelong abstainers. Our findings are relevant for both social protection policy design and life insurance business practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100368
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Economics of Ageing
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol consumption
  • All-cause mortality
  • China
  • Disability-free life expectancy
  • Healthy aging


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