Women who drank anywhere from a few alcoholic drinks a month to more than three a week in the year leading up to a heart attack ended up living longer than women who never drank alcohol, according to a study in the United States of America.
The findings, which focused on more than 1,000 women and were published in the American Journal of Cardiology, add to mounting evidence that alcohol, regardless of the type of drink, can be good for the heart. “One thing that was interesting was that we didn’t see differences among different beverage types,” said Joshua Rosenbloom, a student at Harvard Medical School who led the study. “The most recent evidence suggests that it’s the alcohol itself that’s beneficial.”
There was a similarly reduced risk of dying within the follow up period whether the women drank wine, beer or hard liquor, Rosenbloom and his colleagues found. “One drink a day is a really good target, assuming that a person can be disciplined about that,” said James O’Keefe, a cardiologist at St. Luke's Health System in Kansas City, Missouri.
Researchers surveyed more than 1,200 women hospitalised for a heart attack. After at least 10 years of follow up, the team found that 44 out of every 100 women who had abstained from alcohol had died, while 25 out of every 100 light drinkers and 18 out of every 100 heavy drinkers had died.