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A bottle a day keeps the cardiologist away (but only for men) – PR Week Post #21

November 20, 2009

(Click here for the original post on PR Week)

First an apology to those who read the PRWeek blogs on a regular basis for my absence over the last month or so.  My only real excuse is that when something right for my blog has popped into my head, I have been nowhere near my PC and by the time I return, it was yesterday’s news.  I feel victimised by the rapidity of online news proliferation.

Anyway, if you were/are a reasonably regular reader of my blog, you will see that alcohol is a common theme.  Exactly what that says about me is another matter (feel free to comment though) but why does alcohol really feature so often in my ramblings?  Well, it’s because I like to comment on what’s makes it into the news most frequently and the media write about it an awful lot. 60,000+ stories the past month on Google Health News alone. I find that incredible.

So why comment today?  Well, it was the 100+ stories originating from new research published in theHeart journal which caught my eye.  This study demonstrated that drinking at high levels [4-12 units a day] offers men (not women) protection from heart disease.  In the same sentence of the Press Association’s release, this information was followed by “… but health experts warned this could damage other organs and cause premature death.”  What does this story possibly tell us?  It doesn’t seem to be about moderation or about caution either.  I am lost.

Well, I suppose the PA article wraps it up nicely: “Robert Sutton, professor of surgery at the University of Liverpool, said the finding that there was no relationship between alcohol and heart disease in women was “highly unusual” and suggested the need for more research.”  Ladies and gentleman, drink carefully care over the festive season. You may just be the subject of some new research…