ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
CANCER
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin D Vital for the Heart
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
Agent Orange Exposure Tied to Prostate Cancer Return
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
FITNESS
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
The Brain Comes Alive With the Sounds of Music
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Treat symptoms (result of disease) or diagnose systems (cause of disease)?
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
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
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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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