-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Light-to-moderate alcohol
consumption might reduce stroke risk in women, new research
For the study, U.S. researchers examined data from nearly 84,000
women who were part of the Nurses' Health Study. The women had no
evidence of cardiovascular disease or cancer at the time of
enrollment and were followed for up to 26 years.
The women provided information about their diet, alcohol
consumption, lifestyle habits and stroke occurrences. During the
follow-up, there were 2,171 cases of stroke among the women, Monik
Jimenez and colleagues from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston
About 30 percent of the women said they never drank alcohol, 35
percent said they were light drinkers, 37 percent said they were
moderate drinkers, and 11 percent said they consumed more than the
equivalent of one mixed drink per day.
Light drinking meant consuming less alcohol than what would be
found in half a glass of wine daily, while moderate drinking meant
an average of one-half to just over one glass of wine, one beer or
one mixed drink daily, the study authors noted.
Women who were light or moderate drinkers had a lower risk of
stroke than those who never drank, but this wasn't the case with
higher levels of alcohol consumption, according to the study
published online March 8 in the journal
There are a number of ways that low-to-moderate alcohol
consumption may reduce stroke risk, the researchers said in a
hospital news release. Certain components of alcohol may prevent
blood clots and cholesterol from accumulating in the arteries, both
of which can lead to stroke.
But higher levels of alcohol consumption may increase the risk
of high blood pressure and a heart rhythm disorder called atrial
fibrillation, both of which are risk factors for stroke.
While the study uncovered an association between alcohol
consumption and stroke risk in women, it did not prove a
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
has more about
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