Alcohol and Socialization Good For Heart

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Alcohol and good heart

Several studies link light to moderate drinking with good heart health, but the reasons that alcohol consumption can reduce heart disease and stroke risk have been unclear. According to the results of a new study, drinking alcohol leads to socialization. Perhaps socializing enhances the heart healthy benefits of drinking alcohol.

A Japanese study finds that men who have good social support, in combination with light to moderate alcohol consumption, have less risk of dying from heart disease.

Hiroyasu Iso, a professor of public health at Osaka University and corresponding author for the study says, "In Japan, drinking is divided into two main patterns. One pattern is drinking alone and/or with family at home during the evening. Another pattern - especially for middle-aged businessmen - is social drinking with co-workers, friends, and neighbors. Social drinking is common."

Iso explains that until now no one has studied the positive impact of alcohol consumption combined with socialization on reducing risk of heart disease and stroke. “Collectively, these socializing customs may help to create a stress-free space for those persons surrounded by dozens of stresses, especially in the workplace," adds Takeshi Tanigawa, a professor in the department of public health at Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine.


The authors looked at19,356 men 40 to 69 years of age who were enrolled in the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study for the study. They found that men who socialized and consumed light to moderate alcohol had less risk of heart disease and stroke compared to those who had less social support.

The researchers believe socialization, combined with drinking alcohol with friends, family and co-workers relieves stress. Heart health from socializing with light to moderate drinking may include active lifestyles among those who are employed and have more friends…”so drink with good friends for health," advised Tanigawa.

In fact, just reading studies like this might be enough to lower stress, and lead to better heart health.

The researchers in no way recommend anything but light to moderate drinking for a healthier heart. They especially recommend Karaoke as a means to socialize, enjoy the benefits of deep breathing while singing, and lower stress.