Blog: Chris Brook-CarterBooze on the NHS - the campaign begins here

Chris Brook-Carter | 14 September 2004

And there I was yesterday scoffing at the suggestion that beer should be available on the national health service. Well…

Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol can boost the recovery of patients who have had surgery to open blocked arteries, a study has revealed.

Researchers followed 225 men who had a balloon angioplasty - also known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) - to open up their blocked arteries.

They found that those who drank a moderate amount of alcohol a week after surgery - more than six units - were less likely to need more surgery.

Researchers, from Heidelberg University in Germany, asked the men how much alcohol they drank every week during the first four months after their angioplasty. They found 53 patients drank less than 50g of alcohol a week. One unit of alcohol is equal to 8g in weight.

A further 172 patients drank more than 50g and 21 consumed between 350g and 700g a week.

The researchers, writing in the journal Heart, found the groups were very similar, except that those who drank little or no alcohol suffered more blocked arteries, poorer heart function and a less favourable cholesterol ratio than those who drank more than 50g a week.

The team also showed patients with diabetes were significantly more likely to need another angioplasty, but so were those who drank less than 50g of alcohol a week.

I’m thinking of starting petition – will you sign it?

Chris Brook-Carter is away.


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