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Tipple-a-day women cut risk of having a stroke

Women who drink up to seven glasses of wine or beer a week are slightly less likely to suffer a stroke than those who steer clear of alcohol.

The findings of a study, published in the journal Stroke, fall in line with guidelines from the American Heart Association.

It recommends that women have no more than one drink a day -- but that doesn't mean people should take up drinking.

"We do not encourage women who do not currently drink to initiate drinking," said Monik Jimenez, from Boston, who led the study.

"Alcohol is a double-edged sword, because higher levels can increase high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation, which are risk factors for stroke as well."

Previous reports have also shown that low levels of alcohol drinking are tied to a smaller chance of having a stroke.

Of the roughly 25,000 women who never drank, about 4pc had a stroke at some point during the study.

In contrast, 2pc of the more than 29,000 who had up to half a drink a day on average had a stroke. And of those downing between a half glass and a full glass daily, just one in 200 ended up having a stroke.