Recent research suggests that heavy drinking leads to an elevated risk of heart attacks and many other cardiovascular problems among Americans.
The researchers stress that this risk is independent of other known factors. In other words, alcohol abuse is enough to damage your heart. During the latest study, the experts accounted for other potential causes of heart attacks and cardiac problems, such as obesity, smoking, and diabetes.
Then, they concluded that heavy drinking was linked to a 40% higher risk of heart attacks among patients. Worse, the participants were twice more likely to suffer atrial fibrillation, and irregular fast heartbeat due to alcohol abuse.
Also, they were twice more prone to congestive heart failure. Dr. Gregory Marcus, the lead author from the University of California, explains that despite the fact that previous studies have suggested that a daily or occasional drink is related to an improved heart health, these findings clearly show that drinking cannot be considered healthy, especially for the heart.
Dr. Marcus adds that some people use these false health benefits as an excuse for their unhealthy drinking habits. However, the latest study has shown that even moderate drinking can increase the risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation.
During the study, the experts reviewed the medical records of over 14,7 adults in California who received inpatient or emergency hospital care, and those who had surgery between 2005 and 2009. Roughly 1.8 percent of the participants, or around 268,000 of them, were suffering from alcohol abuse.
The elevated risk of congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and heart attack caused by alcohol abuse was almost the same as the one related to obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Based on the estimates, if alcohol abuse is completely eradicated, there will be 91,000 fewer cases of congestive heart failure, 34,000 fewer Americans experiencing heart attacks, and 73,000 fewer people with atrial fibrillation.
The researchers underline that the study didn’t find a cause-and-effect link because it was designed to be just observational. Even so, the statistics pointed to the fact that heavy drinking had a devastating effect among some of the participants.
The researchers will continue their investigation to find out more about the potentially harmful effects of heavy drinking among Americans. It is worth mentioning that this problem is widely spread in Europe and Asia as well.