People who have between three to five alcoholic drinks a week are 33 per cent less likely to contract heart failure than those who abstain, a study has found.
Professor Imre Janszky, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, suggested alcohol can do more good than harm if drunk in moderation.
And he said it did not matter whether people drank wine, beer or spirits.
Professor Jansky wrote: "It's primarily the alcohol that leads to more good cholesterol, among other things.
"But alcohol can also cause higher blood pressure.
"So it's best to drink moderate amounts relatively often."
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Published in the International Journal of Cardiology, the research followed 60,655 people who enrolled in the study between 1995 and 1997 who all had no history of heart failure.
By the time the study ended in 2008, 1,588 had developed heart problems.
The risk was found to be highest among those who rarely drank, abstained or those with an alcohol problem.
This study also found that the risk of contracting cardiovascular issues increased when participants had more than five alcoholic drinks a week.
Professor Jansky added: "The relationship between alcohol and heart health has been studied in many countries, including the USA and southern European nations.
"The conclusions have been the same, but the drinking patterns in these countries are very different than in Norway.
"In countries like France and Italy, very few people don't drink."Reuse content