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While heavy drinking is associated with a greater risk of a stroke, light to moderate drinking has been linked to a lesser risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.
Having the social support of a good friend seems increase the positive effect that moderate drinking has on your health.
“In short,” said Professor Takeshi Tanigawa, at Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan.
“Moderate to light alcohol consumption with high social support is good for your health. Drinking with a good friend appropriately makes you feel happy and healthy.
“So drink with good friends for health.”
Prof Tanigawa also recommended karaoke bars as one way for business persons to cope with stress. “Singers use deep breathing, which is good for the nervous system,” he said.
“After singing, they usually receive applause. It is a good kind of social support, and helps in the face of adverse occasions or stressful events.”
The study on 19,356 men aged 40 to 69 found the health benefits of light to moderate drinking are more pronounced in men with greater social support.
The study, published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, also found that those with low social support had less healthy lifestyles such as physical inactivity, no job and fewer opportunities for medical checkups.
Heavy drinking was found to be risky irrespective of the level of social support.
Professor Hiroyasu Iso, the study’s co-author from Osaka University, said: “We found the reduced risks of total stroke, ischemic stroke, and total cardiovascular disease associated with light to moderate drinking were more pronounced in men with high social support, probably due to avoidance of unhealthy behaviours and enhancement of stress buffering.”