Moderate drinking can lower risk of heart disease
Moderate drinking has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease in a new study.
But the finding was most pronounced among people who drank moderately in a consistent way - those who had unstable drinking patterns were more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease (CHD).
The research, published in BMC Medicine, examined data from six studies, including five from Britain, which examined people's drinking patterns and their risk of developing CHD.
The authors found that former drinkers had a significantly higher risk of CHD compared with drinkers who "always adhered to lower-risk intake guidelines".
For women, non-drinkers also had an increased risk compared with those "consistently moderate" in their drinking habits.
But researchers warned that stability of drinking patterns was important: those who drank moderately, but not persistently so, had a greater risk of developing CHD compared with those who consistently drank moderately.