HEALTHY LIVING
03/09/2012 09:29 pm ET

Daily Alcohol Drink May Reduce Risk Of Stroke In Women, Study Says

A decades-long study of 84,000 women has found that ladies who drink alcohol on a light to moderate basis have a reduced risk of stroke, Time reports.

According to the study, published today in the journal Stroke, female participants who drank about a half glass of wine per day were 17 percent less likely to have a stroke, compared to abstainers, while woman who drink a full glass per day reduced their risk of stroke by 21 percent.

However, the risk of stroke did not continue to decrease as women drank more alcohol, the study found. In other words, women who drank more than one glass of wine per day were at no less risk of stroke than women who drank one glass.

Dr. Monik Jimenez, a lead researcher on the study, told Time that alcohol reduces stroke risk because it has special properties that "prevent blood clots and promote HDL (good) cholesterol." But she said that it's important to put the study's findings in perspective and remember that drinking alcohol has adverse effects as well.

"Higher intake can lead to high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation which are both risk factors for stoke," says Jimenez told Time. "Our findings really stress moderation for women who do drink."

But taking up a glass of wine at night isn't the only way women can reduce their risk of stroke. A study published in Stroke last month found that women can reduce their risk of stroke by eating more citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit, which contain compounds that improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation.

Women can reduce their risk of stroke by staying clear of certain foods as well. In a study of 87,000 female participants between the ages of 50 and 79, researchers found that women who had diets high in trans fat were more likely to suffer from a stroke than those who cut back on fatty foods, according to the New York Daily News.

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