Heart Attack Victims Cut Risk With 2 Drinks

Posted by: admin on: April 10, 2012

Men who have two drinks a day after surviving a first heart attack have a lower risk of death from heart disease than non-drinkers, Harvard researchers said, adding to evidence that moderate alcohol use may be healthy.



  • Men who survived a heart attack and who drank two alcoholic drinks a day had a 42% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and 14% lower risk of death from any cause during the study compared with non-drinkers, according to a study led by Jennifer Pai, an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
  • The study followed 1,818 men for as many as 20 years from the time of their first heart attack.
  • The results, published in the European Heart Journal, add to other studies that have observed the positive effects of moderate drinking.
  • People who have one drink or fewer each day are 14% – 25% less likely to develop heart disease compared with those who don’t imbibe, Canadian researchers said last year.
  • Until now, data on whether it can also help heart attack survivors have been limited and conflicting, according to Pai.

Recommended Guidelines

  • The findings of the study support the European Society of Cardiology recommended guidelines for long-term management of acute coronary syndromes that moderate alcohol consumption of 10 to 30 grams per day in men should not be discouraged and may be beneficial for long-term prognosis after a heart attack, Pai said in a statement.
  • Participants who drank between 10 and 29.9 grams (1.1 ounces) of alcohol content were categorized as moderate drinkers.
  • A bottle or can of beer contains 12.8 grams, while a 4-ounce glass of wine has 11 grams of alcohol.
  • Men who drank the most, 30 grams or more a day, had a risk of death from any cause that was similar to that of non-drinkers.
  • In previous studies, moderate alcohol intake has been associated with increased levels of HDL, or so-called good cholesterol, improved insulin sensitivity and other effects that reduce heart attack risk, Pai said in the study.
  • Europeans consume more alcohol, about double the global average at 12.5 liters (3.3 gallons) of alcohol content a year, than in any other part of the world, the World Health Organization said yesterday.
  • That amounts to 27 grams of alcohol per day. Consumption is highest in Central-eastern and Eastern Europe at 14.5 liters a year.
  • While Pai’s study only observed men, associations tend to be similar between chronic disease and lower quantities of alcohol for women, Pai said.
  • An association is likely to be observed at five to 14.9 grams per day, or up to a drink a day for women, she said.

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