More than 13,000 adults in Spain were studied over a ten-year period, with the outcome based on a doctor’s diagnosis or on the habitual use of anti-depressant drugs for four or more years.
Reported depression was much higher among women than men, but for those women drinking 5-15g of alcohol a day (approximately one glass), the risk of diagnosis of depression was significantly lower, when compared to non-drinkers.
The SUN Project was a study was carried out between 1999 and 2012 on 13,619 university graduates with a mean age of 38 years, and of which 42% were men. All were initially free of depression.
In the study only 22 men reported cases of depression while 88 women were diagnosed with depression.
Because there were few men reporting depression, and few heavy drinkers, the results only apply to moderately drinking women, the report said.
Among these women – those consuming between half a drink and one to one-and-a-half drinks per day – there was evidence of a lower risk of depression during a follow-up period extending up to 10 years.
According to the authors there were no differences seen according to the type of beverage consumed; the majority of subjects reported that they consumed red wine.