Earlier today Radley Balko noted that "the map showing the places where people are most likely to drink alcohol looks a lot like the map showing the healthiest counties," while "the map showing the places were people were least likely to drink looks a lot like the map showing the least healthy counties." In the same vein, addiction psychologist Stanton Peele looks at America's Health Rankings and finds:
In all of the healthiest five states, a majority drinks. In all the unhealthiest states, a minority drinks. The United Health Foundation's health ranking of the states is subtitled, "A Call to Action for People & Their Communities." Should they call for more people to drink?
Since moderate drinking is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a causal connection is not out of the question. It may also be that teetotaling correlates with income or other demographic variables that are independently related to health.