London: If you are a woman and love to enjoy your favourite bubbly at least twice per week, time to rejoice as you run a 30 percent lower risk of heart attack compared with women who never drink beer, a large-scale Swedish study has found.
After following 1,500 women over a period of almost 50 years, the researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg revealed that moderate (two beer a week) consumption of beer seems to protect women from heart attacks.
Previous research also suggests that alcohol in moderate quantities can have a certain protective effect.
"Our results have been checked against other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which substantiates the findings," said Dominique Hange, researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy.
"At the same time, we were unable to confirm that moderate wine consumption has the same effect, so our results also need to be confirmed through follow-up studies," Hange added.
In the study, researchers followed a representative selection of the middle-aged female population from 1968 to 2000 (when the women in the study were between 70 and 92 years old).
The women were asked about the frequency of their consumption of beer, wine or spirits (from daily to 'nothing in the past 10 years') and about various physical symptoms.
The results reveal that over the 32-year follow-up period, 185 women had a heart attack, 162 suffered a stroke, 160 developed diabetes and 345 developed cancer.
"The study, however, shows a statistically significant connection between high consumption of spirits (defined as more frequent than once or twice per month) and an almost 50 percent higher risk of dying of cancer, compared with those who drink less frequently," the authors noted.
But it found lower heart attack risk in women who drank beer in moderation.
The paper was published in Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care.