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An active lifestyle that includes a little alcohol may be the ticket to preventing heart disease, according to a new study by Danish researchers.
The nearly 20-year study involved close to 12,000 men and women. Those who did not drink or do any exercise had the highest risk of heart disease, at 49 percent higher than those who drank, exercised or did both.
However, among people who did similar amounts of exercise, those who also drank moderately were 30 percent less likely to develop heart disease than non-drinkers.
Meanwhile, physically active people who drank at least one drink a week had up to 50 percent lower risk than physically inactive non-drinkers.
Past studies have suggested that alcohol may decrease your risk of heart disease by increasing levels of good cholesterol and thinning your blood.
In the study, â€œmoderateâ€ drinking was defined as one to 14 units of alcohol a week, with one unit of alcohol being equal to half a pint of normal strength beer, half of a medium-sized glass of wine, or a single shot of a spirit.
Click to see A Little Alcohol â€˜can be healthyâ€™
Sources:European Heart Journal January 2008 29(2):204-212 (Free Full-Text Article)