Drinking has health effects for older women: study

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Beer offers older women health benefits related to heart attacks, but liquor consumption is associated with a greater risk of dying of cancer, according to results of a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care.

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden followed 1,500 women from 1968 to 2000, when they were aged 70 to 92 years. Their new analysis of data found that older women who drink beer once or twice a week had a 30% lower risk of heart attack compared with heavy drinkers or women who never drink beer. The analysis also uncovered a statistically significant connection between high spirit consumption (defined as more frequent than once or twice per month) and an almost 50% higher risk of dying of cancer compared with those who drink less frequently, however.

Follow-up studies will need to confirm whether moderate wine consumption offers the same protective cardiovascular effects as beer, the researchers say.

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