People who drink a glass of wine a day less likely than teetotallers to end up in hospital
People who enjoy one glass of wine a day are less likely to be admitted to hospital than teetotallers, a new study suggests.
Researchers said the finding show “moderate” consumption of alcohol means a lower risk of hospitalisation and of suffering heart disease.
The study involving Harvard University tracked more than 21,000 men and women living in Italy for six years.
It found that teetotallers were 11 per cent more likely to end up being hospitalised, compared with those who drank a small amount of alcohol every day – equivalent to one 125 ml of wine – every day.
Those who drank heavily were at most risk of ending up in hospital, the study, published in the journal Addiction, found.
Overall, there were around 13,000 hospital admissions among participants, who had an average age of 56.
Study first author Doctor Simona Costanzo, of the Mediterranean Neurological Institute, said: “We observed that a heavy consumption of alcohol is associated with a higher probability of hospitalisation, especially for cancer and alcohol-related diseases.
“This confirms the harmful effect of excessive alcohol drinking on the health.
“On the other hand, those who drink in moderation present a lower risk of hospitalisation for all causes and for cardiovascular diseases compared to lifetime abstainers and former drinkers.”
Dr Ken Mukamal, Associate Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in the US, added: “We are absolutely not saying that any teetotaler should start drinking to improve his or her health.”
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