Middle aged non-drinkers may finally have a reason to add a tipple to their daily diet, for a new study has shown that middle-aged people who start drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, especially wine, may cut
their risk of having a heart ailment.
The team of researchers from Department of Family
Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina examined 7,697 people
between 45 to 64 years who were non-drinkers and who were participating in the
Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.
During the study, 6 percent began of the individuals
began drinking moderate alcohol (1 drink per day or fewer for women and 2
drinks per day or fewer for men).
The findings revealed that after 4 years, these
moderate drinkers had lowered the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by
The study also found that those who consumed only wine
had the most significant reduction in cardiovascular events.
"A substantial cardiovascular benefit from adopting
moderate alcohol drinking in middle age appears supported by the current
study," said Dr Dana E. King.
Any such benefit must be weighed with caution against
the known ill consequences of alcohol consumption. While caution is clearly
warranted, the current study demonstrated that new moderate drinking lowers the
risk of cardiovascular disease without an increase in mortality in a four-year
follow up period.
The study appears in
The American Journal of Medicine.