Japanese researchers have recently found that men with a particular genotype that decomposes alcohol more slowly are at greater risk of suffering a stroke.
The researchers from Nippon Medical School and the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology said that men who both have the alcohol dehydrogenase, or ADH, genotype and also tend to drink more are twice as likely to suffer a cerebral infarction.
About 40 percent of Japanese men have such a genotype, they said.
Smoking, drinking, obesity and diabetes have previously been cited as risk factors for strokes.
ADH decomposes alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is then converted by the aldehyde dehydrogenase into acetic acid.
The researchers checked whether 2,400 people aged between 40 and 80 who live in Aichi Prefecture have ADH2 Genotype 1, which is responsible for slower alcohol decomposition, or Genotype 2, which is faster.
They found that men with Genotype 1 are at greater risk of having a stroke. The men in the study who have Genotype 1 were found to drink 1.6 times more alcohol during the study period than those with Genotype 2, they said.