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Research shows alcohol may benefit
hearts of new drinkers
of Family Medicine study concluded that people who began moderately
consuming alcohol in middleage experience a quick benefit of lower
rates of cardiovascular disease morbidity with no change in mortality
after four years.
In addition, the study found that those who consumed alcohol for the
heart health benefits rarely drank more than recommended amounts. The
study has been published in the March issue of the American Journal of
Medicine, and was conducted by MUSC's Dana E. King, M.D., Arch G.
Mainous III, Ph.D., and Mark E. Geesey.
“Most people are aware that moderate alcohol use can be part of a
healthy lifestyle, yet current guidelines caution non-drinkers against
starting to drink in middle age,” said King, lead author of the study.
“We wanted to evaluate whether adopting moderate alcohol consumption in
middleage would lower cardiovascular risk. We were excited to find that
moderate alcohol consumption, or one to six servings a week, lowered
cardiovascular risk for our participants.”
In contrast to a recently published study in the British Public Library
of Science journal, PLoS Medicine, MUSC’s study showed no increase in
blood pressure for participants at moderate consumption levels (two
drinks per day or fewer for men, one drink per day or fewer for women)
during the four years of the study. New moderate drinkers had a 38
percent lower chance of developing cardiovascular disease than did
their confirmed non-drinking counterparts. This difference remained
after adjustment for demographic and cardiovascular risk factors.
Friday, March 21, 2008
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