A Few Drinks Per Week Can Lower Risk of Heart Attack, Study Says

The end of a long day is as good an excuse as any for a stiff drink. As it turns out, daily light-to-moderate drinking can also be beneficial for one’s health, according to a recent study from BMC Medicine.

For patients with heart disease, drinking an average of 6 grams of alcohol each day resulted in a 50-percent risk reduction of stroke, heart attack, and even death. Those who averaged 8 grams per day saw a 27 percent reduced risk of morbidity and death compared to people who did not drink.

In the U.S., the average pour contains 14 grams (.6 fl oz.) of alcohol, or about 1.75 standard units. This equates to having a can of beer, half a glass of wine, or a shot of distilled spirits. (Of course, drinkers should take into account minor fluctuations of the alcohol percentage within a beverage, and the size of the glass or can.)

During the assessment of over 48,000 patients, researchers also found that consumption up to 62 grams per day was not associated with any increased risks of heart attack or death. But within its conclusions, the report cautioned that “non-drinking patients should not be encouraged to take up light drinking because of well-known adverse effects on other health outcomes, such as cancers.”

“Our findings suggest that people with CVD (cardiovascular disease) may not need to stop drinking in order to prevent additional heart attacks, strokes, or angina, but that they may wish to consider lowering their weekly alcohol intake,” study co-author Chengyi Ding told Reuters.

So, enjoy that pint of Pale Ale after work or order that glass of wine at dinner; because as science has proven, it can be healthy and beneficial.