Moderate alcohol could reduce risk of stroke
Light or moderate drinking may further reduce the risk of stroke but not another, while heavy drinking increases the risk of both types, a new study has suggested.
A research team from Sweden and England has reviewed 25 studies as well as national data from Sweden.
The investigators has also reported that consumption of up to two drinks a day was associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke (blocked blood flow to the brain), but has appeared to have no effect on the risk of bleeding (hemorrhagic) stroke.
According to the American Stroke Association, about 87 percent of strokes are known as ischemic strokes, while the other 13 percent are called hemorrhagic.
Heavy drinking have risk of both types of stroke
High-to-heavy drinking (two to more than four drinks a day) was further associated with an added risk of both types of stroke, according to the findings which were published online Nov. 23 in the journal BMC Medicine.
“Our results have shown that heavy drinkers were about 1.6 times more likely to further suffer from intracerebral hemorrhage and 1.8 times more likely to suffer from subarachnoid hemorrhage. The association between heavy alcohol consumption and these two types of stroke was very strong than that for ischemic stroke,” lead author Susanna Larsson said in a journal news release.
She is an associate professor of epidemiology at Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
Further, the differences between alcohol consumption and type of stroke may be due to the way alcohol affects the body, the study of the authors has noted.
“Previous research has also found an association between alcohol consumption and lower levels of fibrinogen — a protein in the body which helps the formation of blood clots,” Larsson said.
“While this may explain the association between light-to-moderate alcohol consumption and lower ischemic stroke risk, the adverse effect of alcohol consumption on blood pressure — a major risk factor for stroke — may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke and outweigh any potential benefit,” she added.
Although the researchers found an association between alcohol and stroke risk, the study does not prove cause and effect.
The researchers have said that the factors other than alcohol use may have affected the results.