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Friday, March 07, 2008

Take up drinking and live longer, study suggests

To Your Health!Non-drinkers who begin moderate consumption of alcohol in middle age can cut their risks of suffering heart attacks by up to 68 percent, a new study by the Medical University of South Carolina's Department of Family Medicine says.

Previous studies had determined that the moderate use of alcohol confers health benefits to drinkers, but it was unknown if there was any benefit in starting to drink later in life. The South Carolina study, which drew on observations over a four-year period of 7,697 people between the ages of 45 and 64, found that alcohol consumption gave a considerable cardiovascular health benefit without paying the penalty in mortality or in higher blood pressure. “Moderate” for the purposes of this study meant one drink a day or less for women and two drinks a day or less for men.

The type of alcohol consumed does matter, the study found: Wine-only drinkers had 68 percent fewer cardiovascular events, while the drinkers of beer, liquor and mixed drinks had only a 21 percent benefit.

Findings of the study are published in the March issue of The American Journal of Medicine.
J. Silverheels Gray, 11:08 AM

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