Two bottles of wine a week could save your life

How after-work wine could save your life

Ever felt guilty about pouring yourself a ‘theraputic’ glass of wine the minute you step through the door? Well, now you don’t have to – new research suggests that people who drink up to two and a half bottles of wine a week have a lower risk of premature death than those who abstain from alcohol.

A 20-year study of 12,000 Danish men and women reveals that moderate drinkers are less likely than teetotallers or heavy drinkers to die of heart disease and other causes – as long as their drinking goes hand-in-hand with plenty of exercise.

A weekly consumption of up to 14 drinks – classified as a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or a single measure of spirits – offers the greatest health benefits.

Martin Gronbaek, of the University of Southern Denmark in Copenhagen, who led the research, said: ‘Our study shows that being both physically active and drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is important for lowering the risk of both fatal ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and death from all causes. For both men and women, being physically active was associated with a significantly lower risk for both fatal IHD and all-cause mortality than being physically inactive, and drinking alcohol was associated with a lower risk of fatal IHD than abstaining.’

The study, published in the European Heart Journal, a team led by Professor Grønbaek, Berit Heitmann and Jane Ostergaard Pedersen, analysed data collected by the Copenhagen City Heart Study, a long-running research cohort assembled in the Seventies to investigate cardiovascular health.

Ostergaard Pedersen clarified: ‘The lowest risk of death from all causes was observed among the physically active moderate drinkers and the highest risk among the physically inactive non and heavy drinkers.’

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