A little alcohol added to a healthy active lifestyle could be the best combination for a longer life. A new study suggests that both together can cut the risk of heart disease.
Researchers followed nearly 12,000 men and women for almost 20 years, during which 1,242 died from ischemic heart disease (IHD). Researchers found that people who led an active lifestyle were less prone to heart disease, but the risk was cut even further if they drank moderately.
When comparing people who took similar levels of exercise, they found that those who drank moderately were around 30 percent less likely to develop heart disease than non-drinkers. This finding held good both for those people who were completely inactive and those who took vigorous regular exercise, although the overall risk of heart disease also declined as exercise levels increased.
Non-drinkers who were physically active had a 31 to 33 percent reduced risk of IHD compared to inactive non-drinkers. However, physically active people who drank at least one drink a week had a risk level 50 percent lower than that of inactive non-drinkers.
* BBC News January 9, 2008