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Moderate Drinking May Cut Women's Risk of Diabetes

Moderate Drinking May Cut Women

Sunday, June 15th 2003

Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may help prevent type 2 diabetes in young women, according to a report published in the June 9th issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

According to the report, women who consumed about a drink or two a day were 58% less likely to develop diabetes compared with abstainers. The risk was 33% lower in women who averaged one drink per day. The association between light and moderate drinking was most apparent with wine or beer, the researchers report.

However, drinking more than two drinks a day of hard liquor more than doubled a woman's risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Even though light to moderate drinking seems to lower the risk of diabetes, lead author Dr. S. Goya Wannamethee and colleagues point out that "light to moderate alcohol intake has not been shown to be associated with reduced all-cause mortality in younger women."

"Thus, there seems little justification to encourage those who do not drink regularly to do so for health benefits," they add.

The findings are based on interviews conducted with more than 100,000 women who participated in the Nurses Health Study II, an ongoing study designed to evaluate the associations between lifestyle and nutritional factors and the occurrence of disease.

Beginning in 1989, when the women were 25 to 42 years of age, the participants filled out questionnaires every other year for 10 years. Several of the questionnaires included questions about alcohol consumption.

The idea that light to moderate drinking is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes is biologically plausible, the authors note. Light to moderate drinking may somehow enhance a person's sensitivity to insulin, Dr. Wannamethee, from the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London, and colleagues note.

Sourced from Arch Intern Med 2003;163:1329-1336

Footnote from Ideal Health:

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Related health information can be found here:

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Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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