Even light-to-moderate drinking increases blood pressure and the chances of having a stroke, according to a large genetic study in The Lancet.
The study involved UK and Chinese researchers who followed 500,000 Chinese people for 10 years.
Current statistics found that about 16 in 100 men and 20 in 100 women will have a stroke in their lifetime in the UK.
So, if a group of 100 non-drinkers started drinking a glass or two every day, there would be an extra two strokes – a small increase.
According to Prof David Spiegelhalter, from the University of Cambridge, that’s an increase in total stroke risk of 38 percent for every half a bottle of wine drunk per day.
He said: “It is very roughly the opposite effect of taking a statin”, which are drugs prescribed by doctors to help lower cholesterol levels in the blood and prevent heart attacks and strokes.