Heart Health Month: Can Drinking Alcohol Lead to Heart Disease?
Chocolate-shaped or candy-coated shouldn’t be the only thing on your mind when it comes to hearts this month. February is American Heart Month. So, take a moment, and make sure your ticker is in top shape.
Alcohol and Your Heart
Alcohol’s effects on heart health have been studied extensively. And to no one’s surprise, drinking alcohol can lead to “serious psychological effects.” Negative acute and long-term effects on cardiovascular health have been observed over the past 3 decades.1
Drinking too much alcohol is linked to:
- Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM).
- Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat).
- High blood pressure.
- Ischemic heart disease.
- Heart attack.
Excessive and heavy alcohol use has also been found to increase your risk of heart failure.3 Not only that, but chronic alcohol use also raises levels of triglyceride fats in your blood and has been found to raise your risk of multiple types of cancer4.
How Much Alcohol is Too Much?
To protect your mental and physical health, keep moderation in mind. By this, we mean an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women over the age of 21.
In general, one drink consists of 5 oz of wine, 12oz of beer, or 1.5oz of hard liquor. Regular heavy drinking, as well as occasional binge drinking (defined as 5 or more drinks for men and 4 or more drinks for women in a 2-hour period), are both unhealthy behaviors.
If you feel like your alcohol consumption may be out of control, it could be an indicator of an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Check out our free and confidential self-assessment below.
Women and Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women as well as men (a fact that only 56% of women are aware of). Unfortunately, the statistics are quite grim2:
- About 1 in every 5 female deaths was caused by heart disease in 2020.
- Around 1 in 16 women aged 20 or older have coronary heart disease in the United States.
- Heart disease rates for women are roughly 6% of the population for all races including black, Hispanic, and white women.
Drinking too much alcohol is considered a serious risk factor for women developing heart disease.2
Tips to Maintain a Healthy Heart
The great news is, there are many resources to help you and your loved ones maintain a healthy heart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a great list of 7 strategies to life a heart-healthy life including:
- Learn your health history.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Move more, sit less.
- Quit smoking.
- Take medicines as directed.
- Monitor your blood pressure at home.
- Choose your drinks wisely.
If you or your loved one is having difficulty with alcohol consumption control, AdCare Treatment Centers in New England can help. Reach out to one of our compassionate admissions navigators available 24/7 via to learn more about alcohol addiction, how to get admitted to rehab, and how to pay for addiction treatment.
It is never too soon to get the help you need. Protect your heart and start your addiction treatment today.