Moderate alcohol consumption lowers the risk of stroke in nonsmokers

Patient: Hi, My father had a stroke almost two years and is slowly recovering. He has good and bad days. In the past 6 months he has been drinking almost everyday, even if it is just a few beers or glasses of wine. I am very worried that he might suffer from another stroke since his risk is probably higher. If you could give me some information on how bad it is for a recovering stroke victim to continue consuming alcohol almost everyday that would be great. Thanks you so much. Hope to hear back from you soon.

Doctor: A recent study investigating alcohol consumption and risk of stroke concluded that moderate alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on the risk of stroke. In nonsmokers, those who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol, defined as 2 to 3 regular glasses of red wine per day, were 37% less likely to develop stroke than nondrinkers. The reasons for this link between light to moderate alcohol consumption and reduced risk of stroke remain unclear. However if the individuals in question also smoke the beneficial effect of the alcohol is removed. In addition to this heavy alcohol use increases the risk of all types of stroke. Therefore if your father remains within the recommended daily intake of alcohol intake <3 units/day for males, this may have beneficial effects on his future risk of stroke.