Large-scale research suggests that drinking alcohol in older age may lower mortality risk. However, the scientists are cautious about potential biases in their own research and say that more research is necessary.
The debate around the potential health benefits of alcohol has been ongoing.
Some studies have suggested that moderate alcohol consumption extends life and protects the heart, while others have negated these benefits, arguing that the former studies are flawed and that there is no such thing as safe alcohol consumption.
Some studies have suggested that drinking alcohol in moderation lowers the risk of dementia, but the evidence may have been prone to certain biases. A new study follows more than 9,000 people over a 23-year period to draw robust conclusions on the link between alcohol consumption and dementia risk.
As the world population grows increasingly older, more and more people are at risk of developing dementia.
In fact, according to recent estimates, almost 50 million people worldwide are currently living with dementia, and this number is expected to double every 2 decades, reaching over 130 million by 2050.
Alcohol related hospitalisation is associated with a doubled risk of ischaemic stroke risk in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, according to a study presented at ESC Congress 2016 today by Dr Faris Al-Khalili, cardiologist, Karolinska Institutet, Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. The observational study was conducted in more than 25,000 non-valvular atrial fibrillation patients at low risk of stroke.
“Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disturbance and is associated with a five-fold increased risk of ischaemic stroke,” said Dr Al-Khalili. “AF is also associated with increased mortality, reduced quality of life and a higher risk of heart failure.”
Treatment with oral anticoagulants reduces the risk of stroke and is recommended according to the number of stroke risk factors. Risk is estimated using the CHA2DS2-VASc score which gives points for clinical risk factors. Patients with non-valvular AF under the age of 65 and a score of 0 in men or 1 in women are considered to be at low risk for ischaemic stroke, and oral anticoagulation therapy is not indicated.
Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages daily in middle-age may raise your stroke risk more than traditional factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.
In a study of 11,644 middle-aged Swedish twins who were followed for 43 years, researchers compared the effects of an average of more than two drinks daily (“heavy drinking”) to less than half a drink daily (“light drinking”).
The study showed that:
Heavy drinkers had about a 34 percent higher risk of stroke compared to light drinkers.