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A Drink or Two OK for Angioplasty Patients

Moderate consumption tied to less re-narrowing of arteries

TUESDAY, Sept. 14, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A drink or two won't kill you, where heart disease is concerned. In fact, it might save your life.

A new study has found that moderate drinking after surgery to open blocked arteries reduces the rate of further narrowing.

In the study, 225 men who underwent balloon angioplasty to open blocked arteries were quizzed about their drinking habits.

Those who drank little or no alcohol suffered from more blocked arteries, poorer heart function, and higher cholesterol levels, according to the study published in the October issue of the British journal Heart.

Also, patients who drank more than 50 grams of alcohol weekly were less likely to experience renewed narrowing of the artery and were almost half as likely to require repeat angioplasty.

The researchers from Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany, said their findings don't mean that nondrinkers should take up alcohol, but that people who do drink moderately needn't stop when facing heart disease.

More information

The National Institutes of Health has more about angioplasty.

SOURCE: British Medical Association, news release, Sept. 13, 2004
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