The latest study to examine the connection between alcohol consumption and reduced heart disease risk indicates that drinking frequently may be the key. The study, reported in this week's New England Journal of Medicine, followed 38,000 men for 12 years. Men who drank three or more days a week were one-third less likely to have a heart attack than men who drank less than once a week. The risk reduction for those who drank once or twice a week was 16 percent. It did not matter what kind of alcoholic beverage the men drank, or whether it was consumed with meals.
Surprisingly, the amount consumed on each occasion did not make much difference either. Once the glass is half empty, it seems, you're pretty much drinking for fun. The neoprohibitionists who worry that talking about the health benefits of drinking is bound to encourage excess ought to be doing everything they can to publicize this study. Don't hold your breath.