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Men who drink 2 beers a day less likely to die after a heart attack

on 28/03/12 at 11:49 am


Men who suffer a heart attack might help their recovery odds by having a couple beers. A new study shows after suffering a first heart attack, men who are moderate drinkers are much less likely to die compared to non-drinkers.

For the study, Harvard researchers looked at almost 2,000 American men who had a heart attack between 1986 and 2006. The researchers followed up with the men for up to a 20 years following their first heart attack, and 468 men died during the study. Men who drank two alcoholic drinks each day over a long period of time were 42 percent less likely to die from heart disease, and 14 percent less likely to die from any cause, the researchers found. The effect remained after factoring out other risk factors including smoking, obesity, age and medical history.

“We also found that among men who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol prior to a heart attack, those who continued to consume alcohol ‘in moderation’ afterwards also had better long term prognosis,” study author Dr. Jennifer Pai, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said in a written statement. The study is published in the March 28 issue of the European Heart Journal.

How much booze are we talking? Pai said a standard portion in the study was a 4-ounce glass of wine, a bottle or can of beer, or a shot of spirits. Those who drank the equivalent of two of these each day were considered moderate drinkers.

But drinking more won’t increase alcohol’s protective benefits, the researchers found. People who drank the most had a death risk that was about the same as non-drinkers.


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