Alcohol heart benefits show up even after bypass surgery

Two to three drinks a day linked to decrease in heart problems after operation in men

6:35pm, November 14, 2010

CHICAGO — The cardiac benefits of having a daily drink or two might extend to a surprising group — men with heart disease so bad it has required coronary bypass surgery.

The value of light-to-moderate drinking for cardiovascular health has shown up previously in healthy people, with studies showing that — other things being equal — people who regularly drank in moderation had less heart disease and fewer strokes than did nondrinkers.

But moderate drinking’s protective benefits may also extend to those who already have some cardiovascular disease, suggests work presented by cardiac surgeon Umberto Benedetto of the University of Rome La Sapienza. Benedetto reported the new findings November 14 at the meeting of the American Heart Association.

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