Drinking a small glass of wine a day may give you a better chance of avoiding heart failure than those who don’t drink at all, according to scientists. In a new study, scientists have discovered that middle-aged men who drink up to seven small glasses of wine or about three and a half pints of beer a week are 20 per cent less likely to develop heart failure when compared to teetotallers.

The study also found that the apparent protective effects were more marginal in women, but up to seven drinks a week still gave moderate female drinkers a 16 per cent reduced risk of heart failure over their non-drinking counterparts. Researcher Scott Solomon of Harvard Medical School in Boston, said that these findings suggest that drinking alcohol in moderation does not contribute to an increased risk of heart failure and may even be protective.

He added that the study shows there is an association between drinking moderate amounts of alcohol and a lower risk of heart failure but this does not necessarily mean that moderate alcohol consumption causes the lowered risk. However, researchers cautioned that the findings shouldn’t be used as an excuse to booze it up as heavy alcohol use is certainly a risk factor. For the study, researchers tracked drinking patterns and heart failure rates for 14,600 men and women aged between 45 and 64 over a period of 24 to 25 years. The study also found that former drinkers had the highest risk of developing heart failure, a 19 percent and 17 percent increased risk among men and women respectively compared with abstainers.

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