Alcohol Study Shows Reduced Heart Attack Risk in Men

Heart Attacks from Alcohol

Archives Internal Medicine, 166:2145-2150, 2006

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Alcohol consumption increases the risk of auto accidents, violence, spousal and child abuse and taking dangerous chances. More than 30 years ago, scientists noticed that the French had one of the lowest heart disease rates in the world, yet ate high-fat diets.

They called the contradiction the French paradox and theorized that it might be caused by their high wine consumption. Since then, many studies found that people who drank alcohol regularly had fewer heart attacks. Many factors are linked to heart disease, including diet, physical activity, blood fats, blood pressure and blood sugar regulation, so it's difficult to isolate the independent effect of alcohol.

Harvard scientists - in a 16 year study of more than 50,000 men who followed a healthy lifestyle found that alcohol drinkers had a lower risk of heart disease. The risk reduction was similar in men who drank between 5 grams and 29 grams of alcohol per day (up to two drinks). Men should weigh the negative consequences of alcohol consumption with its health benefits. Drinking can be part of a healthy lifestyle in some men, but highly destructive in others.

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