Light Drinking Cuts Stroke Risks

Drink moderately.  There's a reason why advertisers say that, and a new study just proved why light or moderate drinking is good for your health. 

Researchers from England and Sweden reviewed 25 studies as well as national data from Sweden and found that that consumption of up to two drinks a day was associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke - stroke which is caused by a blocked brain artery and account for about 88 per cent of all strokes.  There was a decrease of about 9 percent of ischemic strokes for those who drank two or one glass of alcohol per day. 

The Study Did Not Have An Effect On Hemorrhagic Stroke

American Stroke Association says that about 87 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes, while the other 13 percent are hemorrhagic - a type of stroke that occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures.  The researchers of this new study said that consumption of up to two drinks a day was associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke, but appeared to have no effect on hemorrhagic stroke.

Heavy Drinking Increases Risk For Both Hemorrhagic And Ischemic Strokes

This study also only proves that drinking two to more than four drinks a day increases the risk for both types of strokes.  Lead author Susanna Larsson, associate professor of epidemiology at Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said: "Our results showed that heavy drinkers were about 1.6 times more likely to suffer from intracerebral hemorrhage and 1.8 times more likely to suffer from subarachnoid hemorrhage. The association between heavy alcohol consumption and these two types of stroke was stronger than that for ischemic stroke."

"While this may explain the association between light-to-moderate alcohol consumption and lower ischemic stroke risk, the adverse effect of alcohol consumption on blood pressure -- a major risk factor for stroke -- may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke and outweigh any potential benefit," she added.

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