Researchers in Denmark say men who drink alcohol every day lowered their risk of heart disease than those who drink less frequently but not nearly so for women.
The study appears in the British Medical Journal, where an accompanying editorial warned the results should not be used to justify potentially harmful drinking behavior.
The research studied more than 50,000 men and women aged 50-65 years, who were monitored for an average of 5.7 years, with the results were adjusted for known risk factors.
The study said women who drank alcohol on at least one day a week had a lower risk of coronary heart disease than women who drank alcohol on less than one day a week. But the risks were similar for drinking on one day a week or seven days a week.
The researchers said this suggested that the amount of alcohol consumed is more important than drinking frequency among women.
For men, risks were lowest for the most frequent drinkers, suggesting it doesn’t matter how much men drink, as long as they drink every day.
The authors also said the benefits of alcohol on coronary heart disease are by far exceeded by the harmful effects of heavy alcohol drinking.