ALCOHOL + THE MALE HEART ATTACK SURVIVOR
Generally, when someone survives a heart attack, lifestyle changes are imminent. And one of the first things to be 86’d is alcohol consumption. However, a new study published in the online edition of european heart journal has found that two alcoholic drinks a day over a long period gave male attack survivors a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease than non-drinkers. Their risk of death from any cause was reduced by 14%. But the benefits were seen only with ‘’moderate’’ drinking. The findings are broadly in line with evidence that controlled drinking levels can protect the heart and arteries. Researchers in the US monitored the progress of approximately 18OO men for up to 2O years after they had survived a first heart attack between 1986 and 2OO6. The men were among participants in the US Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, a major health and lifestyle investigation. Every four years they were asked questions about their diet and alcohol intake. Study leader Dr. Jennifer Pai, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School said: ‘’Our findings clearly demonstrate that long-term moderate alcohol consumption among men who survived a heart attack was associated with a reduced risk of total and cardiovascular mortality. 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.’’
Modest alcohol consumption was already known to be associated with a lower risk of heart disease and death in healthy people. However, evidence has been lacking on the long-term effects of drinking before and after a heart attack. Dr. Pai stressed that the study looked only at men and the same results may not necessarily apply to women. Previous research has suggested that female heart attack survivors may benefit from lower quantities of alcohol, perhaps half as much.