Journal of Medicine - It’s well established that moderate alcohol consumption may ward off heart disease. But even after a heart attack, an alcoholic drink a day may be good for a man’s health, a new study has found.
Researchers followed 1,818 men who survived heart attacks for up to 20 years. Every two years the men reported on their health, and every four years they filled out a detailed diet questionnaire that recorded, among many other things, their alcohol consumption.
There were 468 deaths over the course of the study, which was published last week in the European Heart Journal.
After controlling for smoking, body mass index, diabetes, hypertension, aspirin use and other factors, the researchers found that, compared with abstainers, men who drank one or two glasses of beer or wine daily, or one or two shots of liquor, were 34 percent less likely to die from any cause and 42 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.
Men who had slightly less than a drink a day had a 22 percent lower risk of death, but the benefit disappeared among those who had three or more drinks a day.
“The maximum benefit is seen at moderate levels,” said Jennifer K. Pai, the lead author and an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health. “We’re not telling people to drink if they don’t already. But we can say that continuing to drink moderate amounts after a heart attack seems to be beneficial.”
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