Let s drink to lower stroke incidence in women

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ACSH has long advocated the heath benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption. Now a new review of data from the Nurses Health Study, published in the journal Stroke, finds that one drink a day may lower a woman s risk of stroke.

After tracking the health of over 80,000 women between 1980 and 2006, researchers from Brigham and Women s Hospital in Boston found that, compared to teetotalers, women who consumed half a glass to a glass and a half of wine daily had about a 20 percent reduced risk of stroke. The benefit was the same for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, and the analysis accounted for risk factors such as age, smoking, hormone use, aspirin use, hypertension, and history of atrial fibrillation.

In addition to potentially lowering the risk of heart disease, it seems that moderate alcohol consumption is also beneficial in reducing women s stroke risk, says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. The American Heart Association recommends no more than one to two drinks daily for men and one drink per day for women. Too much alcohol, however, raises the risk of cardiovascular disease.