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Moderate Drinking May Benefit High Blood Pressure Patients - 2004-03-22

A new study suggests that drinking alcohol in moderation can reduce heart-related deaths among men with high-blood pressure.

The findings seem to reverse current medical advice which suggests that patients with high blood pressure should avoid drinking.

Doctors in Boston say hypertensive men who have one or two alcoholic drinks per day were 44 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular related causes, like heart attacks.

Moderate alcohol consumption has long been considered a stress reliever for people with normal blood pressure, contributing to lower incidents of heart attacks and strokes.

The researchers say an ongoing survey of more than 14,000 men suffering from hypertension showed that those who drank moderately also had a significantly lower risk of dying from heart-related illness.

The authors of the study say they suspect the findings hold true for women as well. The results were published in Monday's edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.