Source: Alcohol consumption and the risk of sudden cardiac death in women: an evaluation from the Nurses’ Health Study. Vest RN 3rd, Gold MR. Heart Rhythm. 2010 Oct;7(10):1374-80.
Research conducted at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston suggests that the risk of sudden cardiac death declines by 36% when women drink one-half to one alcoholic beverages a day. However, when women have more than 30g of alcohol a day, they may increase their risk of sudden cardiac death by about 15%.
The study assessed 85,067 women from the Nurses’ Health Study, who described their alcohol intake every four years. Those women who daily drank between 5 grams and 14.9 grams of alcohol were seen at the lowest risk of sudden cardiac death. While, those women who were former drinkers saw a 21% reduced risk of sudden cardiac death compared to teetotalers.
Women who drank 0.1 to 4.9 grams of alcohol daily had a 23% reduced risk of sudden cardiac death compared to lifetime abstainers, while those who has 5 to 14.9 grams of alcohol each day reduced their sudden cardiac death risk by 36%. Women who had 15 to 29.9 grams of daily alcohol had a 32% reduced risk of sudden cardiac death.
However, women with daily alcohol intake above 30 grams, or two US drinks of 14g, the risk of sudden cardiac death increased by 15% over the teetotalers.
“In this study, we wanted to look at the association of moderate alcohol intake and the risk of sudden cardiac death in women. We found a U-shaped association between alcohol and sudden cardiac death,” said researchers, so too little or too much alcohol intake was associated with a higher risk of sudden cardiac death than moderate intake of alcohol.