Thursday, November 19, 2009

Drinking is good for you again! For the moment…

Oh look, it seems that doctors may have got it wrong. Again. Apparently, heavy drinking—amongst men, anyway—can stave off heart disease.
Do you ignore safe drinking limits and consume far more alcohol than official health advice recommends? If so, it seems that while your bingeing will horrify doctors, it will also – for men at least – halve your risk of contracting coronary heart disease.

Until now, studies have pinpointed moderate drinking as being beneficial to heart health. But research reported today in the journal Heart found that men who consume large or very large amounts of alcohol are least at risk of developing the condition, which kills more than 90,000 Britons a year.

Men who drink regularly, even in small quantities, are more than 30% less likely to suffer from heart disease, it found. But those who drink the most cut their risk by the most. Those classed as high consumers of alcohol, between 30 and 90 grams per day, had 54% less chance of getting the disease, while those deemed to have a very high intake, of more than 90 grams or at least eight glasses of wine a day, were 50% less likely.

Alcohol is thought to enhance heart health by keeping cholesterol levels down and so stopping arteries from clogging up.

But, actually, doctors don't have a fucking clue but will, nonetheless, keep pulling pointless theories out of their arseholes as long as they can keep getting the funding.
The research is based on the experience of 15,500 men and 26,000 women aged 26-69 in Spain, which has one of the world's highest intakes of alcohol per head and one of the lowest death rates from chronic heart disease. Women enjoyed some protective benefit, but it was not statistically significant .

Controversy surrounds the link between alcohol and heart disease, and opinion is divided about the findings. Heart's editor, Prof Adam Timmis of the London Chest Hospital, said the study was significant because of the unusually large number of participants.
...

Robert Sutton, professor of surgery at Liverpool University, said the study was flawed, underpowered intellectually and gave "a highly biased view of the effects of alcohol".

Or, to put it another way, we should ignore the data collected from 41,500 people and, instead, listen to the opinion of just one man—that man being an unknown surgeon who has not undertaken a study of 41,500 people's drinking habits.

Hmmmmmm...

13 comments:

Leg-iron said...

As for me, heart is fine, liver, well, it grows back. If you're going to damage something, damage the thing that regenerates.

If you want to get quantum drunk, try two cans Gold Label barley wine, two bottles Duvel, one large red wine and top up to taste with whisky. The room will spin in every conceivable dimension simultaneously and is not actually a room at all until you look at it. It's best not to because it's not usually a room you recognise and it might not be the same room next time you look.

In the morning, you'll wonder what species you are. A triumph of physics and biology, all at once.

It hurts a bit but no pain, no gain.

Sure it might kill me but so might crossing the street. Something will kill me one day, and I'd rather it was something that left a (slightly askew) smile.

Leo said...

Surely there is a large statistical bias because the people who drink heavily are more likely to die of other stuff like liver disease before they can develop heart disease

thruppennybit said...

Prof Sutton may feel that the study is flawed, but you can be certain that his own data are as dodgy as an MP's expense claim.

From Numberwatch:

heart failure appears on death certificates far more often than is justified. In Britain it helps doctors to avoid the trauma of having to deal with the Coroner.

Maturecheese said...

This is very good news indeed as I must have a healthy heart.

Vicola said...

Ah shit, why do men get all the good breaks?

microdave said...

You forget, statistics can be fiddled, and this man is a PROFESSOR, so he must be right.....

The Filthy Smoker said...

Aaaahhh-ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!!!!! Up yours, Ian Gilmore! In your face, Alan Maryon-Davis! Suck my balls, Liam Donaldson!

wonderfulforhisage said...

And, your average Pedro has a two hour nap in the afternoon. Maybe that's something to do with it.

I'm off for a large one and a lie down just to be on the safe side.

Bill Sticker said...

Excellent news. I'm off to the liquor store to stock up. Your very good health. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

A former colleague of mine used to be an assistant in a Finnish mortuary - he always maintained that the coronary arteries of heavy boozers were reliably clearer, healthier and more flexible than regular folks.

Anonymous said...

..and Leo, maybe (just maybe) these researchers corrected for that. After all, how likely is it that Random Internet Bloke stumbles upon such wisdom and insight?

Rob said...

The BBC managed to cram in no less than four IMPORTANT PEOPLE from the health lobby to rubbish the report.

They can get off their arses and report something when they want to.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Not only that, it's also the best thing to drink after exercise, and it's good for your bones.

AS TFS said, "Up Yours!" to the nouveau temperance movement, beer is the new health drink now fruit juice has been revealed as evil.

There are good days and bad days. Today is the former. :-)