Stroke of bad luck: A glass of wine could be the death of you
New research debunks claims that moderate drinking is not harmful
Just one glass of wine a day could increase the chances of a stroke.
New research published in medical journal The Lancet has dismissed previous claims that one to two alcoholic drinks a day may protect against stroke.
UK and Chinese researchers followed 500,000 Chinese people for 10 years.
They believe their findings were relevant to all populations and the best evidence yet on the direct effects of alcohol.
“Although people who have one or two alcoholic drinks a day had previously been observed to have a slightly lower risk of stroke and heart attack than nondrinkers, it was not known whether this was because moderate drinking was slightly protective, or whether it was because nondrinkers had other underlying health problems.
“At least for stroke, the genetic evidence now refutes the claim that moderate drinking is protective,” the study found.
The researchers, from the University of Oxford, Peking University and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, found that:
drinking one to two alcoholic drinks every day increased stroke risk by 10-15%;
drinking four drinks every day increased the risk of having a stroke by 35%.
The study also found no evidence of light or moderate drinking having a protective effect, in other words, reducing the risk of stroke.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA (HSFSA), up to 360 South Africans a day are affected by strokes, and “experts warn that about a third of those who have a stroke will die, and a quarter will be left with life-changing disability”.
HSFSA CEO Prof Pamela Naidoo said the results of the study were in keeping with current evidence.
“While moderate alcohol intake equating to one glass of wine for women and two glasses of wine for men is often recommended, there is increasing evidence to show that consuming alcohol on a daily basis, binge drinking and excessive alcohol intake is detrimental to overall health.
“In particular, alcohol may in vulnerable people increase their risk of high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of suffering a stroke,” said Naidoo...