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Alcohol Consumption After Heart Surgery Questioned

by Medindia Content Team on  September 29, 2004 at 3:37 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Alcohol Consumption After Heart Surgery Questioned
A new study shows moderate consumption of alcohol may cut the rate of reblockage following surgery to open clogged arteries. Researchers evaluated 225 men after they had undergone a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), a procedure to open blocked arteries with a stent. Less traumatic than bypass surgery, a stent opens the artery but may cause inflammation resulting in renarrowing of the artery, usually within four months.
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Participants in the study were surveyed to determine their weekly alcohol consumption in the four months following surgery. Researchers say men consuming less than 50 grams of alcohol a week had a greater incidence of blocked arteries than those consuming more than 50 grams -- in some cases, between 350 grams to 700 grams of alcohol a week.

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According to the study, men consuming more than 50 grams of alcohol also had better heart function and a more favorable cholesterol level than those who drank little or no alcohol. They were also half as likely to require a repeat angioplasty.Results also showed patients with diabetes, regardless of alcohol intake, were more likely to require a repeat angioplasty than those who drank less than 50 grams of alcohol a week.

Thus researchers say their findings do not mean non-drinkers should start to drink, but that moderate consumers of alcohol with an increased cardiovascular risk should not be advised to stop.
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