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News Tips Thursday, March 25, 1999

From the American Heart Association's
39th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention
March 24-27, 1999, Orlando, Fla.

To complement our news releases, here is an additional news tip reported by the American Heart Association for Thursday, March 25. For more information, March 24-27, call Darcy Spitz or Carole Bullock at the Omni Rosen Hotel, Ph.: 407-996-2410. Before or after those dates, call the AHA's News Media Relations office in Dallas, Ph.: 214-706-1173.

11:15 a.m. -- #P43 --While alcohol consumption is known to reduce the risk of heart attack, the mechanisms of such protection are not clearly defined. Much of the beneficial effects are related to increases in HDL-cholesterol, the "good cholesterol," and perhaps to beneficial effects on platelets, that initiate blood clots in arteries leading to heart attack and stroke. One puzzling finding in some studies has been that a PAI-1, a blood factor that inhibits plasminogen activator (which helps dissolve blood clots that form within arteries) has been found to be higher, rather than lower, in patients with heart disease. A new study from Boston University may help explain this paradox. Researchers found that alcohol in moderation, up to 20 grams/day (approximately 2 typical drinks) did not raise PAI-1; only higher levels were associated with a modest increase. The findings suggest that, in moderation (no more than 1- 2 drinks/day), the effects on PAI-1 may be beneficial (or at least do no harm). Luc Djousse, Boston University School of Medicine, Ph.: 617-638-8080.


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Contact: Carole Bullock
caroleb@heart.org
214-706-1279
American Heart Association
25-Mar-1999


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