ANAHEIM — People who drink alcoholic beverages in moderate amounts are less likely to suffer coronary heart disease than teetotalers, a study showed.
Dr. Arthur Klatsky, chief of cardiology at Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, cautioned that heavy drinkers should not use his findings to justify their habit, which is harmful in other ways.
Klatsky told a session of the American College of Cardiology last week that a study of 100,000 Americans showed that alcohol is not likely to cause coronary artery disease.
"Abstainers are at greater risk," he said. "The question is why.
"If there is a truly protective mechanism in drinking alcohol, such protection is at lower levels, such as one to two drinks per day," he said.