Health Care

Just 1 drink a day might increase risk of stroke

Just 1 drink a day might increase risk of stroke”

Drinking one or two glasses of alcohol a day may increase the chances of having a stroke, according to a new genetic study published Thursday.

When it came to the effect of alcohol on heart attack risk, the researchers said the effects were not clear cut and more data needed to be collected over the next few years.

For heavy drinkers, consuming four or more drinks a day, blood pressure rises significantly and the risk of stroke increases by around 35 percent, the study found.

One drink a day was defined as either a small glass of wine, a bottle of beer or a single measure of a spirit.

"The new study doesn't tie down exactly how alcohol works to increase stroke risk but doesn't appear to increase heart attack risk".

He wrote in the report: "Stroke is a major cause of death and disability". For example, the majority of the people included in the study drank mostly hard liquor rather than beer or wine - the two kinds of alcohol that have studies have linked to health benefits, with wine having the strongest evidence.

East Asian countries are useful places to study the effects of alcohol. But scientists were unsure if that was because the alcohol was beneficial or if the people who didn't drink had other health issues. She adds that their genetic investigations have paved the way for them to understand cause and effect relationships.

The UK and Chinese researchers followed 500,000 Chinese people for 10 years. At the start of the study, 33 percent of men and 2 percent of women reported drinking some alcohol, primarily spirits, on most weeks.

There weren't enough heart attacks among the participants to be able to draw a conclusion about heart risks, the researchers said.

The study found that some didn't drink because of their genetic mutation, while female-participants drank little despite their genetic variance. For men, these variants caused a 50-fold difference in average alcohol drinking, from about zero to four drinks per day.

Scientists found that a few drinks a day slightly raised the risk of stroke and high blood pressure.

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"Risk of stroke increases proportionally with the amount of alcohol consumed, so if people do choose to drink, then they should limit their alcohol consumption".

Why it matters: "The key message here is that, at least for stroke, there is no protective effect of moderate drinking", said Zhengming Chen, a professor at Oxford University's Nuffield Department of Population Health who co-led the research, according to Fox News. "I have always been reasonably convinced that moderate alcohol consumption was protective for cardiovascular disease, but now I am having my doubts", he said.

Study co-author Professor Liming Li, from Peking University, said the study shows stroke risk is "increased" by the influence of alcohol.



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