Dispatch: Alcohol and Heart Disease

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A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that moderate alcohol consumption, defined as one or two glasses of wine a day or the equivalent amounts of beer or other alcoholic beverages, significantly reduces the risk of death from any cause in those who already suffered from circulatory problems such as angina, heart attack, or stroke.

“This is certainly consistent with long-standing literature indicating that older people who drink moderately can lower their risk of heart disease,” says ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. “We have a publication summarizing the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption, but it does not specifically mention people who have already had cardiovascular disease, so this is a nice addition.”

Stier adds, “Most people read these types of studies and think that they are only talking about wine. Over and over again we see that it’s the ethanol that matters, not the wine specifically, so it’s good that that was noted.”