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Drink a Little, Stay Active, Save Your Heart
Date:1/9/2008

The combination could add years to your life, Danish researchers find

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking in moderation and keeping physically active is the formula for keeping heart disease at bay, Danish researchers report.

In fact, people who didn't drink and weren't physically active had a 30 percent to 49 percent higher risk of developing heart disease than people who drank, exercised or did both.

"This study is consistent with a number of prior studies which have shown that leisure-time physical activity and moderate alcohol consumption are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality," said Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

"However, it is very important to note that these findings, especially with regards to alcohol consumption, have never been confirmed in randomized clinical trials and need to be before any recommendations can be made regarding the use of alcohol for cardiovascular risk reduction," Fonarow cautioned.

In the study, Morten Gronbaek, director of research at the National Institute of Public Health at the University of Southern Denmark in Copenhagen and his colleagues collected data on 11,914 Danish men and women aged 20 and older who took part in the Copenhagen City Heart Study.

During an average of 20 years follow-up, 1,242 people died from heart disease and 5,901 died from other causes, according to the report in the Jan. 9 issue of the European Heart Journal.

Among both men and women, being physically active was associated with a significantly lower risk for fatal heart disease and dying from any other cause compared with being physically inactive.

In addition, drinking was associated with a lower risk of fatal heart disease than not drinking. Moderate drinking reduced the risk of death among men and women. However, among heavy drinkers the risk
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