Women who regularly enjoy an alcoholic drink or two have a significantly lower risk of having a non-fatal heart attack than women who are life-time abstainers, epidemiologists at the University at Buffalo have shown.
Moderation is the key, however. Women in the study who reported being intoxicated at least once a month were nearly three times more likely to suffer a heart attack than abstainers, results showed.
However, keep away from that liquor, because it is quicker.
One difference in the protective pattern among drinkers involved those who drank primarily liquor. Women who preferred liquor to wine experienced a borderline increase in risk of heart attack, results showed.
This isn't a reason to become a drinker.
Dorn emphasized that no one should interpret these finding as a reason to begin consuming alcohol, because alcohol brings with it risks for other conditions, such as breast cancer.
"I certainly wouldn't recommend that women start drinking, but among those who do, if they are concerning about heart health, the message is that a small amount is OK."
On a personal note: my own alcoholic beverage consumption is about 1/2 of one a week. Maybe. It is difficult to quantify as I currently imbibe these types of beverages infrequently. Occasionally isn't even the proper term.
The study is published in the May 2007 issue of the journal Addiction. Read the full brief.