Moderate drinkers are more protected from cardiac arrest than light or heavy ones – and booze also increases the risk of suffering injury
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Alcohol can protect you from heart attacks but raises your risk of cancer, a study shows.
Major new research involving 115,000 people showed drinking was linked with a 24% reduced risk of heart attack.
Moderate drinkers were more protected than light or heavy ones.
But the study also found that compared with not drinking, alcohol led to a 51% increased risk of certain cancers.
These included cancers of the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, bowel, liver, breast, ovary and head and neck.
Drinking alcohol was also linked with a 29% increased risk of suffering injury, according to the findings reported in The Lancet.
High alcohol intake levels and binge drinking both led to higher death rates from all causes.
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Lead researcher Dr Andrew Smyth, of McMaster University in Canada, said: “Our data support the call to increase global awareness of the importance of harmful use of alcohol.”
Co-author Dr Salim Yusuf, director of the university’s Population Health Research Institute, said “global strategies to reduce harmful use of alcohol are essential”.
Weekly consumption was measured for the study. Low intake was defined as up to seven drinks, moderate as seven to 14 drinks for women and seven to 21 for men, and high as more than 14 drinks for women and more than 21 for men.