Middle-aged non-drinkers can quickly reduce their risk of heart disease by introducing a daily tipple to their diet, South Carolina researchers say.
New moderate drinkers were 38% less likely to develop heart disease than those who stayed tee-total, a four-year study involving 7,500 people found.
Those who drank only wine showed the most benefit, the researchers reported in the American Medical Journal.
OK, that ticks me off a bit — winos getting the most benefit. But for the beer drinkers, it still helps:
The results came from a study of 7,500 people taking part in a trial to look at risk factors for atherosclerosis - hardening of the arteries.
None of them drank alcohol at the start of the study but 6% began to drink moderate amounts - one drink per day or fewer for women and two drinks per day or fewer for men - during the course of the research.
The reduced cardiovascular risk remained when the researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina took into account physical activity, body mass index, demographic and cardiac risk factors.
The study also found some improvement in HDL or "good" cholesterol in those who took up drinking.
There was no difference in deaths over the four-year follow up.
Except the 6% died a little happier than the other 94%.
My favorite line in the article however, was this:
Despite several studies showing an association with alcohol intake and reduced cardiovascular risk, guidance from the American Heart Association warns people not to start drinking if they do not already drink alcohol.
Now I understand the point, especially concerning the possibility of alcoholism among those who don't yet know they're alcoholics, but imagine a study which says any substance does all of the above and then telling everyone "don't use that substance if you don't already do so".
In this health crazed society do you really think anyone will heed such a warning?
Anyway, I'm off to treat my, er, keep my heart healthy.
It’s written to make you breathless, but in the end you find out you are in a vacuum.
Each brief was only several pages long, so Kean could read through months of them in a stretch of a few hours.
And he found himself terrified by what he was reading, really terrified. Here were the digests of the most important secrets that were gathered by the CIA and the nation’s other spy agencies at a cost of tens of billions of dollars a year.
And there was almost nothing in them.
"They were garbage," Kean said. "There really was nothing there - nothing, nothing."
If students back at Drew turned in term papers this badly researched, "I would have given them an F," he said.
Kean pointed that out to one of his White House minders who accompanied him to the reading room. "I’ve read all this," he told the minder in astonishment. A lot of the information in the briefings and other supposedly top secret intelligence reports had already been revealed by the nation’s big news organisations. "I already knew this."
"Oh, but you’re missing the point," the minder replied. "Now you know it’s true." It occurred to Kean that this might be the commission’s most frightening discovery of all: The emperors of espionage had no clothes. Perhaps the reason the White House had fought so hard to block the commission’s access to the briefings was that they revealed how ignorant the Government was of the threats it faced before September 11. Kean could understand their fear. Imagine the consequences if al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies knew how little the US really knew about them.
I drink only wine, unfortunately I can’t drink red wine because of migraines so I don’t think I get the "health benefits" as they always seem to talk about red wine in relation to health. Oh well, what a shame, I’ll just have to be unhealthy and enjoy my unhealthy wine.