23 February 2011
Consuming alcohol in moderation could be good for heart health, it has been claimed.
According to new research published in the British Medical Journal, moderate drinkers have a 14 to 25 per cent reduction in risk of developing heart disease when compared to those who have never drunk alcohol in their lives.
However, healthcare professionals have warned that this is not a licence to start drinking - especially for those who are already suffering from cardiovascular problems.
The meta-study looked at a total of 84 studies conducted between 1980 and 2009 and found that regular moderate drinking - less than a pint of beer - had a positive effect on the number of stroke deaths and heart problems.
"Dose-response analysis revealed that the lowest risk of coronary heart disease mortality occurred with 1-2 drinks a day, but for stroke mortality it occurred with less than one drink per day," the researchers claimed.
Heavier drinking, however, dramatically increases a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
New World Health Organization figures show that one in 15 men in the UK can be classified as having a drink problem.
1 Ronksley, Paul et al. "Association of alcohol consumption with selected cardiovascular disease outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis". British Medical Journal. Tuesday, February 22nd 2011.
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