Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Moderate Drinking Lowers Women's Risk Of Heart Attack

Date:
May 25, 2007
Source:
University at Buffalo
Summary:
Women who regularly enjoy an alcoholic drink or two have a significantly lower risk of having a non-fatal heart attack than women who are life-time abstainers, epidemiologists have shown. Moderation is the key, however.

Women who regularly enjoy an alcoholic drink or two have a significantly lower risk of having a non-fatal heart attack than women who are life-time abstainers, epidemiologists at the University at Buffalo have shown.

Moderation is the key, however. Women in the study who reported being intoxicated at least once a month were nearly three times more likely to suffer a heart attack than abstainers, results showed.

One difference in the protective pattern among drinkers involved those who drank primarily liquor. Women who preferred liquor to wine experienced a borderline increase in risk of heart attack, results showed.

"These findings have important implications, because heart disease is the leading cause of death for women," said Joan M. Dorn, Ph.D., associate professor of social and preventive medicine in the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions and first author on the study.

Women seem to have a quicker reaction to a smaller amount of alcohol, she noted: "Overdoing it is harmful, and what is too much depends on each individual. In some women, one drink can cause intoxication."

Moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to lower the risk of heart attack, but most studies have been done with men. The current study compared alcohol drinking volume and drinking patterns of women who had been hospitalized due to a heart attack, with age-matched controls without heart problems.

Women who had a prior heart attack, coronary bypass surgery, angioplasty, angina or a previous diagnosis of cardiovascular disease were excluded from the study.

Participants -- 320 heart attack patients and 1,565 controls -- were enrolled between 1996 and 2001. Extensive information was collected on the type of beverage consumed, serving size for each beverage and number of drinks consumed during the two years prior to the heart attack, or for controls, two years prior to the interview.

The researchers computed several variables. Drinking status was categorized as lifetime abstainers (women who reported never having 12 or more drinks in their lifetime or in any 1-year period); non-current drinkers (those who didn't consume at least one drink per month during the reference period), and current drinkers.

Additional variables calculated were: total ounces of alcohol consumed; drinks per drinking day; drinking frequency; drinking primarily with food; beverage preference -- wine, beer, liquor, or some of each; and frequency of intoxication -- current drinkers who stated they drank enough to get drunk or very high, once or more a month, and less than once a month.

Results showed that in this population-based study, women who drank moderately had a significantly lower risk of heart attack than abstainers, and the benefits were greatest in women who had a drink daily. A lower risk for drinkers than abstainers also was evident in women who drank with food, as well as without, and in those who primarily drank wine or a variety of alcoholic beverages. Similar, but weaker, associations were found when patterns and volume were analyzed among drinkers only. Among these women, drinking alcohol in moderation in general was more important than the actual amount consumed. However, getting drunk at least once a month puts women at a significantly increased risk of heart attack, negating any of alcohol's potential protective effect.

Dorn emphasized that no one should interpret these finding as a reason to begin consuming alcohol, because alcohol brings with it risks for other conditions, such as breast cancer.

"I certainly wouldn't recommend that women start drinking, but among those who do, if they are concerning about heart health, the message is that a small amount is OK."

The study is published in the May 2007 issue of the journal Addiction.

Additional contributors to the study from UB were Kathleen Hovey and Brent A. Williams from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, and Jo. L. Freudenheim, Ph.D., department chair; Maurizio Trevisan, M.D., dean of the School of Public Health and Health Professions, and Thomas H. Nochajski, Ph.D., from the UB School of Social Work. Marcia Russell, Ph.D., from the Prevention Research Center, Berkeley, Calif., also was a contributor.

The study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University at Buffalo. "Moderate Drinking Lowers Women's Risk Of Heart Attack." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070523153047.htm>.
University at Buffalo. (2007, May 25). Moderate Drinking Lowers Women's Risk Of Heart Attack. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070523153047.htm
University at Buffalo. "Moderate Drinking Lowers Women's Risk Of Heart Attack." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070523153047.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins