ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
CAREGIVING
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Mild Flu Season Coming to a Close
Depression, PTSD Common Among Lung Transplant Patient Caregivers
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Lead Exposure in Childhood Linked to Criminal Behavior Later
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
Controversial Chemical Lingers Longer in the Body
EYE CARE, VISION
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
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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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