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Moderate drinking has ‘benefits’, new study finds

A new study has shown that drinking within the  recommended 14 units of alcohol a week limit can actually cut the risk of suffering a heart attack, angina or heart failure, but drinking more than 14 units increased the risks of heart failure, cardiac arrest, ischaemic stroke and circulation problems.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), looked at 1.93 million people in the UK. It found that that moderate drinkers were less likely to suffer cardiovascular diseases than non-drinkers.

The authors, from the University of Cambridge and University College London (UCL), were cautionary in their findings, warning; “While we found that moderate drinkers were less likely to initially present with several cardiovascular diseases than non-drinkers, it could be argued that it would be unwise to encourage individuals to take up drinking as a means of lowering their risk. This is because there are arguably safer and more effective ways of
reducing cardiovascular risks, such as increasing physical activity and smoking cessation, which do not incur increased risks of alcohol-related harm such as alcohol dependence, liver disease and cancer.”

Dave Roberts, director general of the Alcohol Information Partnership, which is funded by drinks firms including Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Campari and Bacardi, welcomed the findings, saying; “This new study confirms yet again what previous studies have consistently found. Moderate alcohol consumption can have a beneficial impact on health. This study demonstrates that the anti-alcohol campaigners’ mantra that there is no safe limit just doesn’t stack up.”

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