Light-to-moderate drinking 'may benefit heart health'

22 February 2016

New studies have offered evidence that drinking alcohol in moderation could have a positive effect on heart health.

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology has published two studies regarding the relationship between alcohol and heart health, both of which showed that people who regularly drink alcohol have better cardiovascular health than those who consume little or no alcohol.

It was shown that people who had three to five drinks per week were 33 per cent less prone to heart failure than those who abstained or drank infrequently. For heart attacks, the risk appears to be reduced by 28 per cent with each additional one-drink increment.

However, the risk of dying from various types of cardiovascular disease increased with about five drinks a week and up, with high alcohol consumption also strongly associated with an increased risk of death from liver disease.

This shows that drinking must be done in moderation - around three to five drinks a week - if any of these benefits are to be realised.

Imre Janszky, a professor of social medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said: "We've only been studying the heart, and it's important to emphasise that a little alcohol every day can be healthy for the heart. But that doesn't mean it's necessary to drink alcohol every day to have a healthy heart."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 


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