Low-to-moderate drinking and socialization is beneficial for cardiovascular heath, according to a new study.
A Japanese examination of the effects of social support on the relationship between drinking and cardiovascular disease has found that the health benefits of light-to-moderate drinking are more pronounced in men with greater social support.
Hiroyasu Iso, a professor of public health at Osaka University and corresponding author for the study, and his colleagues examined 19,356 men 40 to 69 years of age who were enrolled in the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study.
Their alcohol consumption was classified into seven categories: ever, past, occasional, 1-149, 150-299, 300-449, or 450 grams/week. Measures used were alcohol consumption, risk of cardiovascular disease, and social support.
"We found the reduced risks of total stroke, ischemic stroke, and total cardiovascular disease associated with light-to-moderate drinking were more pronounced in men with high social support, probably due to avoidance of unhealthy behaviours and enhancement of stress buffering," said Iso.
"In our study, compared with light-to-moderate drinkers with high social support, those with low social support had more unhealthy lifestyles such as physical inactivity, no job and fewer opportunities for medical checkups," Iso added.
Results will be published in the June issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.