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Saturday, 6 January, 2001, 00:31 GMT
Alcohol 'cuts strokes in women'
alcohol
Moderate alcohol consumption may be good for you
More clues that moderate alcohol consumption could reduce the risk of a second stroke has been delivered by a US study.

Doctors asked women who had already suffered one stroke to fill in questionnaires about the amount they drunk.

Women who drank one unit of alcohol a day almost halved their chance of having another.

And those who drank two had an almost 60% lower chance of a second stroke.

Dr Ann Malarcher, from the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, led the study.

She said: "Wine appeared to have a beneficial effect, while beer and liquor (spirits) were not as strongly related to stroke risk."

Two drinks a day

The US National Stroke Association's stroke prevention guidelines already suggests that those who already drink alcohol can carry on drinking up to two drinks a day.

While it is unproven, scientists believe that the way alcohol thins the blood makes it less likely to form the clots which lodge in the narrow vessels of the brain to cause strokes.

And it is just one in a series of studies which point to the beneficial effects of alcohol taken in moderation.

A Japanese study suggested that it might be able to boost IQ, while others have found it can improve cardiovascular health.

It is thought to restrict the hardening of the arteries which threaten heart health - and can cause cognitive decline.

There are a few dissenters, however. A study in the British Medical Journal suggested no benefits even to moderate drinking.

Experts are agreed that binge drinking, or heavy drinking, substantially increases the risk of stroke.

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01 Feb 00 | Health
Why people topple after a tipple
08 Mar 00 | Health
Why alcohol acts faster on women
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