New research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke has determined that drinking two alcoholic beverages per day during middle-age years increases the risk of stroke more than other known factors, including high blood pressure and diabetes.
The study followed 11,644 twins from Sweden for 43 years, starting between 1967 and 1970. All began the trial when they were under the age of 60. The scientists compared the effects of having less than half a drink—classified as four and two ounces of wine for a man and a woman, respectively—daily to drinking two or more daily.
The study found that consuming two drinks per day increased the risk of stroke by 34 percent compared to drinking less than half a drink per day. Those that downed two or more drinks a day during their 50s and 60s had strokes an average of five years younger than light drinkers. The increase in stroke risk was found to be higher than the danger generally posed by diabetes and hypertension.