Men and women in their 60s who consume one to two drinks a day appear to have a lower risk of stroke compared with their peers who consume less alcohol, study findings suggest. However, too much alcohol has been shown to increase the risk of stroke. Past studies have found that binge drinking raises blood pressure and possibly stroke risk, and other research has suggested that the risk of stroke increases with heavy alcohol intake.
In this new study from the Boston University School of Medicine, a reduced risk of stroke was found in men and women aged 60 to 69 who consumed 12 to 23 grams of alcohol per day, with one drink being equivalent to 12 grams of alcohol.
Over a 30-year period, the researchers evaluated the alcohol drinking habits of 5,209 men and women participating in the Framingham Study, the ongoing analysis of residents of Framingham, Massachusetts. While total alcohol consumption was not associated with stroke across all age groups, the researchers report that a protective effect was observed among men and women in their 60s who had a history of moderate alcohol intake over the course of the study.
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