ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
CANCER
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Eat Light - Live Longer
Probiotics Are The Good Guys
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
FITNESS
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Hidden Salt in Diet Haunts Many With Heart Failure
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
'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
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
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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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