Moderate Alcohol Drinking May Improve Heath of Legs and Feet

Moderate consumption of alcohol (beer, wine, or distilled spirits such as whiskey, gin or vodka) may protect against leg or lower-extremity arterial disease (LEAD) among older persons, according to study of 5,635 participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study.

Leg artery disease or LEAD is a condition in which arteries in the legs become clogged with fatty plaque deposits that reduce blood flow to the legs. Symptoms include pain, burning, aching, skin color changes, non-healing sores and coolness in the legs and feet.

Researchers found that men and women who consumed from one to 13 servings of alcohol per week had a 44% lower risk of LEAD, compared to those who abstained from alcohol drinks.

Dr. Kenneth J. Mukamal, head of the research team, said that "These results are consistent with the long-standing observation that moderate drinkers have a lower risk of heart attack, which is also caused by blockages in arteries."

Note: This site makes no health or medical recommendations and none should be inferred. For health advice, consult a qualified health provider.


  • Kenneth J. Mukamal, Margaret Kennedy, Mary Cushman, Lewis H. Kuller, Anne B. Newman, Joseph Polak, Michael H. Criqui, and David S. Siscovick. Alcohol Consumption and Lower Extremity Arterial Disease among Older Adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study
    American Journal of Epidemiology, 2008 (1 January), 167, 34 - 41.

Filed Under: Heart