Women Who Drink Beer Have Lower Risk of Heart Attack
Women who drink beer once or twice per week have about a 30 percent lower risk of heart attack than women who never drink or are heavy drinkers, a new study reports.
Previous research has shown that moderate alcohol consumption may have protective benefits for the heart - but researchers from the current study did not find that wine consumption had the same effects as beer.
"Our results have been checked against other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which substantiates the findings," said Dominique Hange, researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
Heart benefits, but cancer risks
The research came from a 32-year longitudinal study that included 1,500 women. Participants were asked about the frequency of their consumption of wine, beer or spirits, and their health.
While moderate beer drinkers had a lower risk of heart attack than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers, the study showed a significant connection between high consumption of spirits (more than once or twice a month) and a 50 percent higher risk of dying from cancer.
The authors note that drinking habits are closely related to social factors, religion and culture - which means that definitions of "moderate" or "light" consumption may vary from one part of the world to the next.
And while alcohol may have protective benefits to a certain degree, overconsumption is also linked to social problems, mental illness and reduced life span, they wrote.
"The association between alcohol consumption and health has been an issue of much debate during recent decades," they said. "The relationship between alcohol intake and cardiovascular health is complex, involving both protective and harmful effects."
Source: Sahlgrenska Academy