Alcohol consumption may generate a significantly higher risk of heart disease or strokes in women than it does in men, new research has suggested.
Men who said they were heavy drinkers had a 19 per cent lower risk of fatal coronary heart disease than teetotal men, according to the study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
However, it found heavy-drinking women were four times more likely than non-drinking women to die from heart disease.
Co-author of the study Hiroyasu Iso said the amount of alcohol that may be beneficial for men "is not good for women at all".
The professor of public health at Osaka University added: "In women, we found a slightly reduced risk with light consumption but a much greater risk with heavy alcohol use."
Separate US research recently published in a supplement with the Journal of Clinical Hypertension suggests a diet rich in certain minerals may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The study's author Mark C Houston comments that improving the sodium-potassium ratio in the American diet would reduce hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
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