Editor’s Note: A “Healthland” segment @ Time.com reports of an ongoing study out of Harvard which says light-to-moderate drinking reduces women’s risk of stroke. Although this study isn’t an invitation to booze it up, moderate drinking appears to lower the risk of heart disease by boosting the production of HDL, the “good cholesterol,” and reducing the risk of blood clots
A new study offers good news for women who unwind with a cocktail at the end of the day: light to moderate drinking is associated with lower stroke risk.
The new report by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital involved 26 years of data on 83,578 women who were part of the long-running Nurses’ Health Study — a federally funded study of how such factors as diet, alcohol consumption and other lifestyle factors may influence women’s long-term health.
Over the follow-up period, there were 2,171 reported stroke events: 1,206 were ischemic strokes, which occur when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked by a clot, and 363 were hemorrhagic strokes, when a blood vessel in the brain weakens and bursts. The rest were of an unknown type.
On average, about 35% of women reported very low levels of alcohol consumption — less than 4.9 grams, or less than half a glass of wine, a day. About 37% drank moderately — 5 to 14.9 grams daily, or a half to one and a half glasses of wine, one serving of a mixed drink, or one beer. Approximately 11% reported drinking more than the equivalent of one mixed drink per day and 30% reported abstaining from alcohol completely.