Stroke risk for heavy-drinking women at least double: study

JIJI

Women who drink heavily are at a 2.3 times greater risk of suffering strokes than those who drink only occasionally, scientists reported Wednesday.

The researchers, from the National Cancer Center and Osaka University, surveyed some 47,000 women across Japan from 1990 to 2009 for the study, published in a U.S. medical journal. It is the first study to confirm a link between heavy alcohol consumption and stroke risk for women. The link for men is already known.

Of the 47,000 women, 1,864 suffered strokes during the period and the scientists divided them into six groups based on alcohol intake.

They found that the group of heaviest-drinking women, who consumed more than 1,266 ml of beer or 360 ml of sake a day, had a 2.3 times greater risk for strokes compared with the occasional drinkers.

The group of women who drank 633 to 1,266 ml of beer or 180 to 360 ml of sake per day were at a 1.5 times greater risk, the report said.

“In terms of drinking sake, we recommend less than 180 milliliters a day,” the scientists said.