We've heard that light to moderate drinking can protect against a stroke. New research finds if you drink too much, you go the other way and increase your risk of stroke. So, what's too much?
Researchers at Tulane Public School of Health found those who consume five or more alcoholic drinks a day have a 64% greater risk of stroke than those who do not drink. Meanwhile, they found just one drink a day lowers the risk of stroke by 17% compared to those who don't drink at all.
The study was partly funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Though this study strongly suggests heavy drinkers should lower their alcohol consumption and moderate drinking can reduce the risk of stroke, the findings should be considered closely. Experts say any advice regarding alcohol use should fit the individual's personal risks and needs.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a major cause of disability in the United States.
With the little league season just around the corner, the Journal of the American Medical Association says it is generally a safe sport, but it could be even safer if all those young players wore face guards and used safety baseballs, or softballs.
"These protective equipment items, the safety baseballs, the face guards, do work. They do reduce the risk of injury in youth baseball, and we support and encourage leagues to use these equipment items wherever possible," says Steve Marshall, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill followed the records of two million little league players for three years to compare the injury rate in leagues that use the safety equipment to those that don't. They found face guards reduced the risk of facial injuries by more than a third and softballs reduced the risk of ball-related injuries by almost a quarter.
The researchers said they were surprised to find some parents don't want the extra safeguards for their kids because they want them to learn to play under the same conditions as college and big league players. That's where the researchers argue that it's just common sense to give little leaguers a little extra protection.
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