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Wednesday June 23 7:14 AM ET Beer Said As Good As Wine To Prevent Heart Disease

Beer Said As Good As Wine To Prevent Heart Disease

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Moderate consumption of beer reduces the risk of heart disease just as well as red wine, the Danish Brewers Association said Wednesday.

``It cannot be proved that there is any health advantage in drinking red wine, for example, rather than beer,'' the lobby said in a statement, citing a study by the Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine at the University of Muenster.

``Epidemiologic studies indicate that light to moderate alcohol consumption from beer, wine or spirits is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality, owing primarily to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease,'' the study showed.

The findings of Professor Ulrich Keils study based on 2,000 people in southern Germany contradicted a Danish study published in December, which found that people drinking moderate amounts of wine had a lower risk of stroke than those who consumed beer or spirits.

Lars Bech, chief spokesman of the Danish Brewers Association, told the tabloid Ekstra-Bladet it was a coincidence that the new study was released on the threshold of Denmarks summer holiday period when beer consumption usually rises sharply.

In 1998, beer sales in Denmark fell some seven percent.

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