So the biggest problem I see is with lack of operational definitions.
Why You Should Rethink Alcohol in Moderation
So the biggest problem I see is with lack of operational definitions. How was “alcohol” defined? You hinted that in some prior studies people were asked “if they drank” or “if they are currently drinking.” This says nothing about dosage or type of alcohol consumed. So the earlier studies focused on one or two 4 ounce glasses of wine (usually consumed with dinner). It didn’t address social drinking or drinking throughout the day. There is a difference in how straight liquor is absorbed and how mixed drinks, cocktails, wine and beer are all metabolized in the body. A Bloody Mary with tomato juice, celery, Tabasco sauce, and other vegetables will be metabolized much differently than a straight shot of vodka. So due to the lack of precision, it is impossible to make sweeping generalizations without actual data.
NONE of these studies showed that alcohol CAUSED worse or better health. NONE of these studied use double blind randomized studies where one group was administered alcohol and another wasn’t over a long period of time then had outcomes measured. So cause and effect could not be proven or even assumed. Instead, alcohol consumption (or lack of ) was ASSOCIATED with various outcomes. That’s it should always be reported until actual experiments are conducted.