But now, a study indicates, stroke risk goes higher after drinking:
Drinking alcohol was linked to an immediate increase in heart attack and stroke risk in all drinkers, but moderate drinkers seemed to experience some protective cardiovascular benefits within 24 hours of imbibing, according to a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis.
On the other hand, heavy drinkers saw a sustained elevated risk, reported Elizabeth Mostofsky, ScD, of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and colleagues. The study was published in Circulation and presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle 2016 Scientific Sessions in Phoenix.
The analysis of 23 studies with a combined total of close to 30,000 participants suggested a roughly twofold acute increase in myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke risk occurring within the hour after drinking, Mostofsky told MedPage Today.
"Although there is a transiently higher risk, we saw a lower risk for heart attack and hemorrhagic stroke within a day of moderate drinking and a lower risk for ischemic stroke within a week," Mostofsky said. "This is perfectly consistent with what we have learned about the long-term health benefits of regular, moderate consumption."I think it's pretty clear that this means people need to make informed decisions about ... almost everything. Personally, I plan to imbibe from time to time. I just don't drink all that much and haven't for a long time.
Now, are you in a high stroke risk group? Maybe you should abstain. Maybe. And down the line. Uncertain? Ask a health professional.