A US study has showed that young women who drink one or two units of alcohol a day are less likely to suffer an ischemic stroke than teetotallers or heavier drinkers (Stroke 2001, 32: 77-83).

Ann Malarcher and colleagues used data from the Stroke Prevention in Young Women study — a population-based case-control study of patients admitted to all 59 hospitals in the greater Baltimore–Washington area. Malarcher's team matched 224 women who had suffered a first cerebral infarction with 292 healthy women of similar age and location. All women were interviewed to assess their lifetime alcohol consumption, as well as consumption and beverage type in the previous year, week and day.

The researchers found that compared with non-drinkers (referent), women who drank fewer than 12 grams of alcohol per day had a lower risk of ischemic stroke (odds ratio 0.57), as did those who consumed 12 to 24...

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