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Moderate Drinking Said Safe for Men with Hypertension

Posted - Mar. 22, 2004 at 6:20 p.m.



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CHICAGO, March 22 (AFP) - Men with high blood pressure can enjoy their favourite tipple in moderation with a clear conscience, according to a study released Monday that found the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption extend to men with hypertension.

Researchers who studied the medical records of more than 14,000 male doctors found that the ones who drank moderately but regularly had a much lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than the non-drinkers.

The men who drank six or seven units of alcohol a week cut their risk of dying from heart disease at least 27 percent compared to non-drinkers, and the risk reduction was even higher for the heavier drinkers.

"Patients with hypertension who are able to maintain light to moderate alcohol intake have no compelling reason to change their lifestyle and eliminate a possibly beneficial habit," said the authors of the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The findings drew on the health records of some doctors in the study group who died.

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, based their findings on the Physicians' Health Study.

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COPYRIGHT 2004 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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