Light drinking may prevent second heart attack

September 10, 2002 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Light drinking may prevent second heart attack

According to a French study, men who survive a heart attack and who drink between 2 and 4 glasses of wine each day are less likely to experience a second heart attack than men who consume no alcohol.

Previous researchers have shown that drinking small amounts of any kind of alcohol can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, given the risks of alcoholism and other negative effects of alcohol, the researchers say people should discuss alcohol intake with their doctors, before assuming that their drinking is good for them.

The study followed 353 male heart attack survivors for an average of 4 years. In that period, the investigators kept track of the men's drinking and eating habits, and noted if they experienced an additional heart attack. The authors found that men who drank an average of 2 drinks each day were 59% less likely than those who drank no alcohol to experience another medical emergency. In men who drank around 4 drinks each day, the risk was reduced by 52%.

The vast majority of alcohol consumption in the men studied was wine, so it is impossible to determine if the risks of a second heart attack were influenced by alcohol or some other ingredient in wine.

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation currently recommend that healthy men drink no more than 2 alcoholic beverages per day.

Keep in mind that these findings do not necessarily mean that drinking wine helps prevent a first heart attack in men.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.