Study: Drinking Alcohol Is Good for You, in Moderation

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New research published in the British Journal of Medicine has some good news for those who like to (lightly) party! Drinking alcohol is good for you and your body, as long as it’s done with moderation. With that in mind, thank God it’s Friday, right?

Researchers have found that alcohol is good for you, but we can’t say the same thing when it comes to hangovers. So spare your Saturday morning some aspirin and don’t overdo it on Friday night. I usually shrug when it comes to such studies, where the news is so good. As good as having a drink with your friends. But this particular study compiled data gathered from 1.9 million adults, which is a pretty good number you want to calculate statistics on.

The study set out to investigate the association between drinking and cardiovascular disease by examining the presentation of 12 cardiac, cerebrovascular, abdominal, or peripheral vascular diseases among five categories of consumption. Researchers found that people who drank moderately had a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, or death by heart disease.

Drinking alcohol is good for you, but how much alcohol are we talking?

At the same time, interestingly, teetotalers or people who completely abstained from drinking were prone to an increased risk for eight different heart problems.

But what did the researchers consider to be moderate alcohol consumption? For women, that’s one glass of wine, while for men it was two glasses of wine. So when it comes to drinking alcohol that’s good for you, wine is the way to go. Not exactly something more hardcore, like tequila or vodka.

The study was based on linked electronic health records that covered primary care, hospital admissions and mortality in the 1997-2000 timeframe. Participants were 51 percent female, and all of their ages were above 30. At the beginning of the study, none of them had any cardiovascular diseases.

People who didn’t drink had an increased risk of unstable angina, myocardial infarction, unheralded coronary death, heart failure, ischaemic stroke, peripheral arterial disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm. At the other extreme, heavy drinking – or whatever exceeded the guidelines – conferred an increased risk of presenting with unheralded coronary death, heart failure, cardiac arrest, transient ischaemic attack, ischaemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, and peripheral arterial disease. But they also had a lower risk of myocardial infarction or stable angina.

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