Heart Problems and High-Risk Drinking

Heart Problems and High-Risk Drinking

You are not only putting yourself at risk for having an alcohol use disorder if you drink more than the suggested limits for low-risk alcohol intake, but you are also substantially raising your risk of a range of cardiovascular issues.
A large body of scientific evidence suggests that individuals who consume alcohol often or excessively have a higher risk of heart disease. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has developed recommendations for "safe" and "high risk" drinking levels based on this study.

The precise amounts of alcohol intake that the NIAAA considers "low risk" are as follows:

Men should drink no more than 4 drinks per day and no more than 14 drinks per week; women should drink no more than 3 drinks per day and no more than 7 drinks per week.
For example, if you are a man and drink a 12-pack of beer during the week and then a 6-pack on the weekend, you have had four drinks more than the suggested limit.

If you are a woman and consume two glasses of wine each day, you are over the recommended daily limit.

You are called a binge drinker if you surpass the aforementioned daily limits. You are engaging in excessive alcohol intake if you surpass the weekly limits. Both binge drinking and excessive drinking pose health hazards in the short and long term.

The Chances of a Sudden Cardiac Event

Even if you drink within the "low risk" limits, you are still taking a risk. Drinking any quantity of alcohol increases your chances of having a heart attack or stroke during the following 24 hours.
Many research have been performed on the short and long term effects of moderate and excessive alcohol intake on the cardiovascular system. Mosotofsky and colleagues looked at 23 studies with a total of 29,457 individuals to see what physiological impact moderate and excessive drinking had on those risks.

The researchers looked at the link between alcohol use and: • myocardial infarction • ischemic stroke
• Stroke with hemorrhage

Researchers found in a study published in the journal Circulation that any amount of alcohol raises the risk of a cardiovascular incident during the first 24 hours, but only excessive alcohol use increases the risk for up to a week.
In fact, the research found that moderate alcohol use may protect you for up to a week. When compared to nondrinkers, moderate drinkers (2-4 drinks) were 30% less likely to have a myocardial infarction or hemorrhagic stroke within a week, and 19% less likely to have an ischemic stroke.
Heavy drinkers, on the other hand, were almost twice as likely to have a heart attack within 24 hours and up to six times as probable within a week.

Alcohol and the Chances of Death

Another review of 84 papers looked at how alcohol intake affected the following cardiovascular outcomes:
• Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
• Coronary heart disease incidence and mortality, and • Stroke incidence and fatality
The study, headed by P.E. Ronksley and colleagues, discovered that light to moderate alcohol intake is associated with a decreased risk of a variety of cardiovascular events, although the protective threshold for those outcomes is much lower than the NIAAA recommendations.
In comparison to nondrinkers, the lowest risk of coronary heart disease mortality occurred with 1-2 drinks per day, and the lowest risk of stroke mortality occurred with precisely 1 drink per day, according to the dose-response study.

Women who drink are at a higher risk.

Other researchers looked at 23 studies with a total of 489,686 individuals to determine whether the connection between alcohol use and significant cardiovascular events, such as overall mortality, was stronger in women than in males.
The study, conducted by YL Zheng and colleagues, compared moderate to heavy drinking in women and men to non-drinkers with the lowest alcohol consumption.
In comparison to males, moderate female drinkers had a substantially higher risk of overall death, according to the study.
Surprisingly, there was no difference in the risk of major cardiovascular events or overall mortality between women and men who were heavy drinkers or non-drinkers in this research.
Young women, especially those who are prone to binge drinking, should think about limiting their alcohol consumption, according to the experts.

Heart Failure with Moderate Drinking

Another study of eight research papers including 202,378 people looked at the risk of heart failure associated with the following amounts of alcohol consumption:
• 3 alcoholic beverages per week • 7 alcoholic beverages per week • 10 alcoholic beverages per week • 14 alcoholic beverages per week • 21 alcoholic beverages per week
The researchers found a "non-linear connection" between alcohol intake and the risk of heart failure for all levels of alcohol consumption under 14 drinks per week.
However, after 14 drinks per week, participants' relative risk of heart failure increased to 10% greater than nondrinkers, and after 21 drinks per week, it increased to 48 percent higher.
The research found that moderate alcohol intake, defined as fewer than two drinks per day, is related to a lower risk of heart failure.

Atrial Fibrillation and Alcohol Consumption

Although consuming alcohol has long been linked to an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, there have been few research on the effects of light to moderate drinking on the disease.
The impact of alcohol intake ranging from one drink per week to 21 drinks per week on the prevalence of atrial fibrillation was investigated in a study of 79,019 men and women over an 11-year period, as well as an analysis of seven other studies including additional 12,554 individuals.
A linear connection between alcohol intake and the risk of atrial fibrillation was discovered by S.C. Larrson and colleagues. The relative chance of getting atrial fibrillation rose as the number of drinks per week increased.
At these levels of alcohol use, the research discovered the following percentages of increased risk for atrial fibrillation compared to nondrinkers:
• 8% for one drink each day
• 17 percent, two drinks per day
• a daily intake of three alcoholic beverages (26%)
• 36 percent of people consume four drinks each day
• 47 percent of people consume five drinks each day
Alcohol intake, even at modest levels, was shown to be a risk factor for atrial fibrillation, according to the researchers.

Moderate Alcohol Consumption and Other Risk Factors

The following risk factors for excessive drinking that are included in the suggested recommendations are solely for cardiovascular issues. There are a slew of additional health problems that may be exacerbated by drinking alcohol.

Source:  verywellhealth.com