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Arterial stiffness prevented by light drinking

People who have one or two drinks a day have more flexible arteries than non-drinkers and heavy drinkers. Researchers at the National Institute on Ageing Gerontology have found another of those U-shaped relationships for alcohol consumption and health. In the U-shaped relationship, light to moderate drinkers enjoy more health benefits than either abstainers or heavy drinkers. Arterial stiffness was measured by ultrasound in this study.//

We already know that arterial stiffness increases with age and that this is a risk factor in heart disease. The researchers found that arterial stiffness of non-drinkers or heavy drinkers in the same age group was 12-33 per cent higher than for the moderate drinkers. The effect increased with age. But there was no relationship between alcohol consumption and arterial thickening, another heart disease risk factor.


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