Drinking shows little effect on stroke outcome

Drinking shows little effect on stroke outcome

While some research has suggested that moderate drinking may lower a person’s odds of suffering a stroke, a new study finds that it may have little long-term impact on stroke risk or stroke severity.

The findings, reported in the journal Stroke, come from a more than two-decade follow-up of nearly 22,000 U.S. male doctors. Researchers found that overall, there was no strong association between the men’s drinking habits and their odds of suffering a stroke.

Nor was there a clear connection between alcohol intake and the severity of disability following a stroke.

Some past studies, though not all, have suggested that light-to-moderate drinking may be protective against stroke — as it appears to be against heart disease. But the current study, which followed participants for an average of 22 years, was longer term than those earlier studies, the researchers point out.

In addition, a number of other studies have found that the protective effect of moderate drinking is generally weak and fades with longer-term follow-up, noted senior researcher Dr. Tobias Kurth, of the French national health institute INSERM, in Paris, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

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