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Study: Two Glasses of Wine Reduce Chances of Further Heart Attack

Posted: Tuesday, 05 March 2013 16:27

Two Glasses of Wine Reduce Chances of Further Heart Attack

Mar 05: Several studies in the past have shown that moderate wine drinking reduces the chances of a heart attack or an episode but a new study conducted on over 11,000 Italians who had suffered a heart attack, and has been published in the International Journal of Cardiology recently, shows that the chances of a repeat attack are reduced by 13% if you drink 500 mL of wine a day, with 17% less risk than non drinkers.

The common belief, based from several studies conducted during the last two decades is that wine can prevent heart disease when consumed in moderation. However, it is not known whether or not wine alone contains biological mechanisms that can directly benefit the heart. But the new study reported in Counsel & Heal suggests that wine helps extend the lives of people who have already suffered a heart attack.

In order to see if there are any advantages of drinking wine for heart attack survivors, researchers at the Harvard Medical School and in Italy analyzed data from 11,248 Italian men and women who were recent survivors of a heart attack. The researchers focused on the dietary habits of the participants and their wine consumption and followed-up twice. The first one was three and a half years after the first heart attack and the second follow-up was seven years after the first follow-up.

The researchers recorded the number of heart attacks the patients had, as well as the mortality rates of these patients, in these subsequent years. They found that consuming about half a liter of wine a day, equivalent to 4 glasses (125mL each) reduced the risks for another heart attack by 13 percent. This rate was 17 percent lower than that for non-drinkers.

Researchers stress that the data was based on people who were already wine drinkers and may not be applicable to the heart attack survivors who were previously non drinkers. They also recommended that men should not consume more than four glasses a day and women should imbibe only three. They also concede that other factors might have contributed to their findings too. For example, wine drinkers taking healthier diets and doing regular exercise would have more chance of survival. For example, people who have a Mediterranean diet tend to consume more wine and fruits and vegetables, which also help reduce risks for heart attacks (read a related article elsewhere in this issue of delWine).

The benefits of red wine are attributed to the antioxidants found in wine. These antioxidants are believed to prevent cardiovascular diseases because they control the build-up of harmful cholesterol and inflammation in the blood vessels. However, there are other options to lower the risks of a heart attack, such as exercise, diet and making better decisions for the body and mind, say the researchers.

DelWine recommends only 2 glasses (125 mL) of wine a day for men and 1 to 1.5 glasses for women regularly. A good Mediterranean diet and exercise are equally important in the food regime. We do not recommend the non drinkers to start drinking wine for health reasons only. It should be consumed as a lifestyle product only- Editor

Tags: Mediterranean diet, antioxidants


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