Women who drink moderate amounts of beer lower their risk of a heart attack by 30 per cent, according to a study by researchers at the University of Gothenburg.
The study, which followed 1,500 women over half a century, used test subjects that represented a cross section of middle-aged women in Sweden.
Looking at the data gathered over decades, the researchers have charted the relationship between weekly intake of alcohol and the likelihood of heart attacks, cancer, diabetes and stroke.
During the study period, 185 of the women had heart attacks.
The study shows a ‘significant link’ between spirit consumption and a risk of cancer death. The risk is almost 50 per cent higher compared with those who drink spirits less frequently.
When it comes to beer, however, women who reported drinking once or twice per week or month had a 30 per cent reduced risk of having a heart attack. The researchers have concluded that moderate consumption of beer protects women from heart attacks.
Dominique Hange, the study’s lead researcher, says other possible factors have been taken into account.
‘Previous research also suggests that alcohol in moderate quantities can have a certain protective effect, but there is still uncertainty as to whether or not this really is the case. Our results have been checked against other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which substantiates the findings. At the same time, we were unable to confirm that moderate wine consumption has the same effect, so our results also need to be confirmed through follow-up studies.’