ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Extra Pounds in Mid-Life Affect Later Mobility
CANCER
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Is Your Refrigerator Getting Enough Attention For Your Raw Food Success?
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
Functional Foods Uncovered
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
Greener Neighborhoods Mean Slimmer Children
EYE CARE, VISION
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
FITNESS
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Coffee Cuts Liver Scarring in Hepatitis C
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
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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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