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Study: Alcohol Abuse Harmful for Heart Health

Posted: Wednesday, 04 January 2017 12:31


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Study: Alcohol Abuse Harmful for Heart Health

Jan 04: Although past data suggests that moderate drinking is protective of the heart, a new study, published on Monday in Circulation, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology indicates that abusing alcohol by drinking excessively increases the possibility of suffering atrial fibrillation, heart attack or congestive heart failure, the No.1 cause of death worldwide

Click For Large ViewCardiovascular studies have suggested that moderate consumption of alcohol is good for our heart health. Dr. Gregory M. Marcus, director of clinical research in the Division of Cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco and senior author of the study says“One of the most surprising findings is that people who abused alcohol are at increased risk for heart attack or myocardial infarction,” according to the Report published by CNN on Monday.

Since many people believe that “more of a good thing is always better,” Marcus and his colleagues decided to investigate how excessive drinking might impact our risk of heart diseases. They took the Databases of a couple of medical institutions in California and studied the case file of 14.7 million residents over 21 years old, who had been hospitalized between 2005 and 2009. Of these, 1.8%, or approximately 268,000, had been diagnosed with alcohol abuse.

Specifically, they found that alcohol abuse was associated with a doubled risk of atrial fibrillation, a 1.4-fold higher risk of heart attack and a 2.3-fold increased risk of congestive heart failure.“It didn’t matter if you had a conventional risk factor for these diseases or not. In every case, alcohol abuse increased the risk,” Marcus said, adding that increasing awareness of this among practitioners and individuals alike might actually reduce or prevent those important diseases.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women’s heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, believes that both scientists and the media have been highlighting the good components of alcohol, such as resveratrol in wine. She says, “When we look at alcohol, we have almost glamorized it as being this substance that can help us live a really heart-healthy life. Ultimately, excessive drinking leads to heart conditions. We should really understand the potential toxicity of alcohol and not glamorize it as something we should include as part of our lives, certainly not in excess.”

This aspect needs to be emphasised also in India where the decision makers ought to bring out the negative impact of excess alcohol drinking while acknowledging that moderate and controlled drinking is not harmful and perhaps good for the heart health even though it may not be easy to keep the quantity under check.

For details of the Study, please read

delWine has always recommended that unless there are contra indications (religion, social mores, medical contingencies like medication), two glasses of 125 mL of wine for men and one glass for women are recommended for good heart and general health. Drinking wine responsibly is our advisory The Study does not advise to the contrary-editor

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Tags: Circulation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Gregory M. Marcus, Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, resveratrol


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