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Moderate drinking linked to lower heart attack risk, study says

By
Zarrin Ahmed
A new study shows that moderate alcohol intake -- about a bottle of wine per week -- may lower risk for heart attack. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
A new study shows that moderate alcohol intake -- about a bottle of wine per week -- may lower risk for heart attack. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

July 26 (UPI) -- Drinking a bottle or two of wine a week may be associated with decreased risk of heart attack, stroke, angina or death among those with cardiovascular disease, according to a study published Monday in BMC Medicine.

Researchers found that people who drink up to 105 grams of alcohol per week -- roughly six to eight drinks -- had lower risks of heart problems than those who didn't drink.

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"As alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of developing other illnesses, those with CVD who do not drink should not be encouraged to take up drinking," study corresponding author Chengyi Ding said in a press release.

Researchers analyzed data from the UK Biobank, Healthy Survey for England, Scottish Health Survey and 12 other studies on 48,423 adults in Britain.

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Researchers found that those who drank an average of six grams of alcohol per day had a 50% lower risk of recurrent heart attack, angina or stroke than those who didn't drink.

Those who drank eight grams of alcohol per day had a 27% lower risk of death due to heart attack, stroke or angina, the researchers said.

And up to 15 grams of alcohol per day was also linked to lowered risk of heart attack, angina or stroke.

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In the United States, one standard drink contains 14 grams of alcohol -- the equivalent of one 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine or 1 1/2-ounce shot of liquor.

The study did not fully represent heavy drinkers or former drinkers who quit drinking due to ill health, the researchers cautioned.

Some studies have shown that consistent moderate drinking may be associated with lower risk of heart disease, while others have found that drinking just one alcoholic beverage a day will shorten your life.

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"Our findings suggest that people with cardiovascular disease may not need to stop drinking in order to prevent additional heart attacks, strokes or angina, but that they may wish to consider lowering their weekly alcohol intake," said Ding, a doctoral student in the research department of epidemiology and public health at University College London.

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