[Health Notes] Lifestyle, alcohol, and reducing the risk of heart attack

Lifestyle and alcohol can reduce the risk of heart attack in women, according to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. A 6-year study of over 24,000 Swedish postmenopausal women showed that the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) could be reduced by 92% through a combination of 3 low-risk behaviors, including non-smoking, low waist-hip ratio, being more physically active, and regular, moderate alcohol consumption.

Yes, drink more wine!

This echoes the major findings of an important Harvard study, which identified the “healthy lifestyle” factors as not smoking, eating a Mediterranean-type diet, getting regular exercise, not being obese, and consuming between 1/2 and 2 typical alcoholic drinks each day. In addition, while anyone with the first four factors significantly reduced major health risks, such as diabetes and heart disease, those who consumed alcohol moderately and regularly reduced their risk further, by about 60%!

“Wine was given by God, not that we might be drunken, but that we might be sober. It is the best medicine when it has moderation to direct it. Wine was given to restore the body’s weakness, not to overturn the soul’s strength.” – St. John Chrysostum (4th Century preacher)

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