The researchers analyzed the data collected from 11,000 Swedish twins. The participants were sorted into several categories: non drinkers, light drinkers, moderate drinkers and heavy drinkers.
The participants were divided into these categories based on a questionnaire from 1967. The study excluded the non-drinkers because scientists believed they might once have been alcoholics but they have quit drinking.
The light drinkers were put into the category of those who consumed less than half a drink per day, and heavy drinkers were those who had more than 2 drinks a day. The moderate drinkers were placed somewhere in between these two categories.
The study showed that the heavy drinkers had a 34% increased risk of having a stroke, compared to the light drinkers.
The researchers said that the participants were controlled for other factors, like high blood pressure, diabetes, weight, smoking or how often they exercised.
The heavy drinkers who were in their middle age were found to be 34% more likely to have a stroke, compared to the participants from the light drinkers category.
For participants between the ages of 75 and 80, one of the greatest risk factor was high blood pressure. For those who were older than 80, the most important risk factor was diabetes.
Pavla Kadlecová, one of the researchers who took part in the study, said that the most important message of the study is that middle-aged people who drink more than two alcohol drinks a day are at a higher risk of suffering from a stroke.
Jonathan Mant, an expert in preventing strokes and a professor at the University of Cambridge’s Primary Care Unit, talked about the new study which shows that middle-age drinking increases the risk of stroke. He said the study’s results make a very important point in that alcohol is more dangerous than diabetes or high blood pressure in middle age people.
Professor Mant adds that in relative terms, drinking alcohol could be as dangerous as smoking with middle age people.
Image Source: theguardian