Turns out that your customary vodka-cranberry or dirty martini may help lower your chance of stroke, a condition that kills twice as many women as breast cancer every year.

A large 10-year study out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston recently found that women who had between half a drink and one drink per day — whether it was liquor, beer, or wine — had a lower risk of stroke than those who didn’t drink at all. “A lot of people have this idea that red wine is more beneficial than other types of alcohol, but in our study, it didn’t matter what kind you drank,” says study author Dr. Monik Jimenez.

The reason alcohol may be protective against stroke is probably because it helps prevent dangerous clots, she explains. It also raises levels of good cholesterol in the blood. Of course, this isn’t permission to go all Mad Men: “Although moderate drinking may be protective, heavy imbibing increases the risk of high blood pressure and other factors for stroke and heart disease, says Jimenez. So pace yourselves, ladies.

Source: Redbook magazine, August 2012