Moderate Alcohol Use Decreases Cardiovascular Risk In Older Women

03/04/2002
By Elda Hauschildt

Moderate alcohol consumption – one or two drinks per day – decreases cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women by up to 13 percent.

"Moderate consumption of alcohol decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, apolipoprotein B and triacylglycerol concentrations and increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-1 concentrations in postmenopausal women," United States researchers say.

"These observations are consistent with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. It was shown previously that a 0.26 mmol/L increase in HDL cholesterol in women is associated with a 32 percent to 42 percent decrease in the risk of coronary artery disease.

"Applying this risk estimate to the magnitude of lipid changes observed in the current study could indicate that consumption of one drink per day potentially decreases the risk by 4 percent to 5 percent, and consumption of two drinks per day potentially decreases the risk by 10 percent to 13 percent."

Researchers from the US Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland; George Washington University Medical Centre in Washington, DC and the US National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland say knowing the effect of alcohol on cardiovascular risk is important because risk increases after menopause….

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