Alcohol can help some patients recover

8th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

9 November 2004 , HEIDELBERG - Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol can boost the recovery of patients who have had surgery to open blocked arteries, German researchers have found. The researchers followed 225 men who had a balloon angioplasty, also known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), to open up their blocked arteries. They found that those who drank a moderate amount of alcohol a week after surgery - more than six units - were less likely to need more surgery. Balloon angiopla

9 November 2004

HEIDELBERG - Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol can boost the recovery of patients who have had surgery to open blocked arteries, German researchers have found.

The researchers followed 225 men who had a balloon angioplasty, also known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), to open up their blocked arteries.

They found that those who drank a moderate amount of alcohol a week after surgery - more than six units - were less likely to need more surgery.

Balloon angioplasty is less traumatic than heart bypass surgery, and involves putting a small tube known as a stent into the artery.

The procedure can cause inflammation and lead to further narrowing of the artery, usually within four months of treatment.

Researchers, from Heidelberg University in Germany, asked the men how much alcohol they drank every week during the first four months after their angioplasty.

They found 53 patients drank less than 50 grammes of alcohol a week. One unit of alcohol is equal to 8 grammes in weight. A further 172 patients drank more than 50 grammes and 21 consumed between 350 grammes and 700 grammes a week.

The researchers, writing in the journal Heart, found the groups were very similar, except that those who drank little or no alcohol suffered more blocked arteries, poorer heart function and a less favourable cholesterol ratio than those who drank more than 50g a week.

The team also showed patients with diabetes were significantly more likely to need another angioplasty, but so were those who drank less than 50 grams of alcohol a week.

The study showed those who drank more than 50 grams of alcohol a week were less likely to suffer restenosis, renewed narrowing of the stented artery - 34 percent compared to 49 percent.

Those drinking more than 50 grammes a week were also almost half as likely to need another angioplasty - 23 percent compared to 42 percent.

But researchers said the findings did not mean non-drinkers should suddenly start drinking to improve their health.

"As do all previous studies in this field, the current study does not allow for a general recommendation that abstinent men drink alcohol, even if they have underlying cardiovascular disease," they said.

"However, it further supports that moderate consumers of alcohol with an increased cardiovascular risk profile should not be advised to stop drinking."

DPA

Subject: German news  

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