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Glass of wine reduces chances of that second heart attack

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If you’ve survived a heart attack or stroke, add a small glass of wine to your daily routine—it could well reduce your chances of a second attack, and may even save your life.

People who drink one glass of wine, spirits or beer every day reduce their chances of a second attack by around 27 percent compared to teetotallers.

Those who drink 8 grams of alcohol a day—equivalent to one unit, or a small glass of wine—enjoyed the greatest protection.  But you can have too much of a good thing, and those who drank more didn’t lower their risk further, but instead raised their chances of other drink-related health problems.

Researchers from University College London studied a database of 14,386 people who had suffered a heart attack or angina or a stroke.  During the following eight years, 1,640 of the group died and 2,950 suffered a second attack—but the risk was far lower in those who drank moderately.

“People with cardiovascular disease may not need to stop drinking in order to prevent additional heart attacks, strokes or angina.  But they may wish to consider lowering their weekly alcohol intake,” said lead researcher Chengyi Ding.

It’s already recognised that light to moderate drinking reduces the chances of heart disease—but it also seems to protect you if you’ve had a heart attack or stroke.

(Source: BMC Medicine, 2021; 19: 167)

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