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Liquor in moderation could be good for heart

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London: According to two new studies, drinking liquor, beer or wine in moderation leads to less probability of heart failure and heart attacks than those who do not drink at all.

The researchers found that three to five drinks a week can be good for your heart.

“It’s primarily the alcohol that leads to more good cholesterol, among other things. But alcohol can also cause higher blood pressure. So it’s best to drink moderate amounts relatively often,” said one of the researchers Imre Janszky, professor of social medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

While one of the studies published in the International Journal of Cardiology is about heart failure, the other published in the Journal of Internal Medicine evaluated the relationship between alcohol and acute myocardial infarction (AMI), the medical term for heart attack.

In both cases, research showed that people who regularly drink alcohol have better cardiovascular health than those who consume little or no alcohol.

The studies showed that those who drank three to five drinks per week were 33 percent less prone to heart failure than those who abstained or drank infrequently.

In the case of heart attacks too, moderate alcohol consumption was found to be beneficial.

The study, which looked at the relationship between heart failure and alcohol, followed 60,665 participants who enrolled for a larger study between 1995-1997 and who had no incidence of heart failure at that time.

Of those, 1588 of them developed heart failure during the period of the study, which ended in 2008.

The risk was highest for those who rarely or never drank alcohol, and for those who had an alcohol problem.

In the heart attack study, 58,827 participants were categorized by how much and how often they drank.

The researchers found that 2,966 of the participants experienced an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) between 1995 and the end of 2008.

The analyses showed that each additional one-drink increment decreased the risk of AMI by 28 percent.

“I’m not encouraging people to drink alcohol all the time. We’ve only been studying the heart, and it’s important to emphasize that a little alcohol every day can be healthy for the heart. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessary to drink alcohol every day to have a healthy heart,” Janszky said. (IANS) (pic coutesy: thetrentonline.com)

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Guinea Worm Diseases Moves Towards Total Eradication

While Guinea worm disease may be on the brink of eradication in people, the Carter Center said there were still thousands of cases in animals in several African nations.

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Guinea Worm Disease
A child watches while a nurse with the Carter Center bandages blisters on her leg from where a Guinea worm is emerging, in Abuyong, Sudan, Nov. 4, 2010. VOA

There were just 28 reported human cases of Guinea worm disease (GWD) last year, the U.S.-based Carter Center said Thursday.

The nongovernmental organization founded by former President Jimmy Carter said the disease is gradually moving toward eradication.

The Carter Center says there were about 3.5 million human cases of GWD in Africa and Asia every year before it took the lead of the Guinea Worm Eradication Program in 1986.

“These aren’t just numbers, these are people,” program director Adam Weiss said. “This is why tens of thousands of volunteers, technical advisers, and staff are working in thousands of villages to find and contain the last cases of this miserable disease and show people how to wipe it out once and for all.”

Guinea Worm Disease
A woman points to her toe from where, she said, three worms emerged in 2009 when she was infected with Guinea worm in her town of Terekeka, South Sudan, Oct. 4, 2017. VOA

People and animals get Guinea worm disease from drinking water contaminated with tiny crustaceans that carry the worm larvae. The larvae mate inside the victim and after the male dies, the female emerges from a blister on the skin and can only be gradually pulled out.

Guinea worm disease is rarely fatal. But the Carter Center said it can incapacitate victims for months — something that villagers who work, farm or go to school cannot afford.

Also Read: Pakistan Starts A Nationwide Polio Eradication Drive

There is no vaccine against GWD and no medicine to treat it.

But the disease can be easily prevented by teaching communities how to filter drinking water and keeping Guinea worm patients and animals away from water sources.

While Guinea worm disease may be on the brink of eradication in people, the Carter Center said there were still thousands of cases in animals in several African nations, where violence and insecurity are making effective prevention difficult. (VOA)