ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Pain-Relieving Powers of Acupuncture Unclear
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
CANCER
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
CAREGIVING
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
DIABETES
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
B Vitamins Might Lower Stroke Risk
Mediterranean Diet Helps Protect Aging Brain
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
EYE CARE, VISION
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Kids More Apt to Smoke If Mom Did While Pregnant
A Honey of a Sinusitis Treatment
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
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Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking

THURSDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Social support might enhance the cardiovascular health benefits of light-to-moderate drinking, suggests a Japanese study.

Heavy drinking increases the risk of stroke, but studies have linked light-to-moderate drinking with a reduced risk of ischemic stroke and coronary heart disease. Other research has found that people with higher levels of social support have a reduced risk of death and cardiovascular disease.

In the new study, researchers looked at alcohol consumption, social support and risk of cardiovascular disease in more than 19,000 men, ages 40 to 69.

"We found the reduced risks of total stroke, ischemic stroke and total cardiovascular disease associated with light-to-moderate drinking were more pronounced in men with high social support, probably due to avoidance of unhealthy behaviors and enhancement of stress buffering," the study's corresponding author, Hiroyasu Iso, a professor of public health at Osaka University, said in a university news release.

"In our study, compared with light-to-moderate drinkers with high social support, those with low social support had more unhealthy lifestyles such as physical inactivity, no job and fewer opportunities for medical checkups," Iso said.

Mental stress also could be a pathway by which poor social support may lead to cardiovascular disease, he said. "Mental stress activates neuro-endocrine components, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis and autonomic nervous system, which lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease," Iso explained.

Iso said the study, which appears online and in the June print issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, was the first to examine "whether psychosocial factors modify the association between alcohol consumption and risks of stroke and coronary heart disease."

But the beneficial effect, Iso cautioned, is limited to light-to-moderate drinking.

"Heavy drinking is risky irrespective of social support level," he said. "We believe that this also holds for other ethnic populations." The 19,356 middle-age and older men in the study were all Japanese.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about alcohol and cardiovascular disease.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, news release, March 19, 2009

Last Updated: March 19, 2009

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