Having good cholesterol levels may not protect men who drink heavily from high blood pressure, experts suggest.
An increase in blood pressure due to heavy drinking apparently eliminates any benefits that may be gained from men having good levels of cholesterol.
Study author Kenneth Mukamal says: "This really fits well with the observation that the risk of stroke which is more sensitive to blood pressure than heart attack is not really substantially lower in moderate drinkers."
A study of 21,301 men aged between 20 and 59 found that blood pressure was "significantly higher" in both light and heavy drinkers, regardless of their "good" cholesterol levels.
The researchers say this may be because "good cholesterol" does not have the power to prevent the bad effects of drinking alcohol.
Senior cardiology consultant Arthur Klatsky says this does not change but reinforces the message that drinking less reduces the risk of heart attack for older men.