A drink or two a day shouldn't increase the risk of heart attack for men with high blood pressure, U.S. and Dutch researchers said.
"We could not find any increased risk of heart disease or death due to heart disease for moderate drinkers. Moderate drinkers may even have a reduced risk for heart attack," Joline Beulens, University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Beulens said the study is the first to examine whether men who drink moderately and have high blood pressure are more prone to heart attacks than non-drinkers, USA Today reported.
Researchers analyzed data from 11,711 men with hypertension in the Health Professionals Study, begun in 1986. Participants completed surveys noting how often they consumed alcohol.
From 1986 to 2002, subjects reported 653 heart attacks, of which 279 were fatal, researchers said in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Men who drank up to two drinks a day reduced their heart attack risk by about a third.
"Moderate consumption of alcohol seems to be associated with a lower risk of heart attack, similar to the association seen in healthy men in general," says co-author Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston.
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