A study claims that any useful effect of consuming moderate quantities of alcohol on stroke may be thwarted by cigarette smoking. Study authors tracked the drinking and smoking habits of roughly 22,524 people in the UK who were between the ages of 39 and 79 and did not seem to have a past record of heart attack or stroke at the beginning of the study. During the 12-year study, around 864 strokes took place.

The study discovered that the link between alcohol drinking and stroke was said to be considerably dissimilar between smokers and non-smokers. In non-smokers, people who took reasonable quantities of alcohol were said to have 37 percent less chances to develop stroke as compared to non-drinkers. But in smokers this link was supposedly not seen. This discovery proposes that smoking may alter the association between alcohol consumption and stroke risk. Moderate drinking appeared to be described as consuming up to 21 units of alcohol per week, which is said to be equal to roughly two to three usual glasses of red wine a day.

Yangmei Li, MPhil, with the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, commented, “Our findings could have public health implications in that we appear to have a clearer understanding of the dangers of combining smoking and moderate drinking on overall stroke risk.”

Li remarked, “While heavy alcohol consumption is considered to increase the risk of stroke, the relationship between light to moderate drinking and stroke has varied considerably among studies. It’s possibly these conflicting results could be explained by the interaction between cigarette smoking and alcohol on stroke risk.”

This appears to strengthen the proof that smoking not only augments stroke risk on its own but may also affect unfavorably how other lifestyle factors may connect to stroke risk.

The study was presented in the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto.