DENVER (CBS4) – A drink a day could help keep heart failure away, according to a lengthy study of nearly 15,000 people.

There are so many studies it’s confusing. It seems like booze is good one day and bad the next. But the latest study concludes moderate drinking is even better than no alcohol at all.

(credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Taste of Vail)

(credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Taste of Vail)

According to a study in the European Heart Journal, a daily cocktail may be associated with a lower risk for heart failure. Researchers followed 14,629 people for 24 years, starting at an average age of 54.

“It’s big. It was done in four centers, four communities in the United States. So it’s a wide range of people,” Kaiser Permanente cardiologist Dr. John Reusch said.

The study found that moderate drinkers have a lower risk of heart failure — lower than heavy drinkers — even lower than abstainers. Compared with abstainers, men who drank a glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer or a shot of liquor daily had a 20 percent reduced risk. Women had a 16 percent reduced risk of heart failure.

“One of the things it does is it tends to prevents buildup of plaque in these arteries and tends to prevent heart attack,” Reusch said. “But the exact mechanism by which the heart might be protected from a small amount of alcohol is not really known.”

Researchers say the results are not a reason to suddenly imbibe. Once going above one drink a day for women and two for men the risk of other types of problems goes up, including liver disease and cancer.


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