Too much alcohol is bad for the heart

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There are many studies that relay the heart health benefits of moderate consumption of red wine; however, consuming large amounts of alcohol could actually be bad for your heart. According to findings presented at a recent American Society of Hypertension meeting, too much alcohol is bad for the heart. Azra Mahmud, M.D., Ph.D. of St. James Hospital in Dublin, explained that the effects of too much drinking are different based on gender. Men who have on average more than three stout drinks per day are likely to suffer from stiff ventricles and arteries. Women, on the other hand, who consume more than two stout drinks per day are likely to develop large hearts. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medpage Today that reviews the findings:

Dr. Mahmud and colleagues studied 200 consecutive patients seen at her hypertension clinic for initial assessment of elevated blood pressure. On the basis of self reports, patients were classified as nondrinkers, moderate drinkers (one to 21 units of alcohol per week for men and one to 14 for women), or excessive drinkers (more than 21 units for men and more than 14 for women).

Approximately 10% of the women in the study and 35% of the men were excessive drinkers and about 20% of men and women were nondrinkers, she said.

The patients were assessed with echocardiography with tissue Doppler imaging, and arterial stiffness was measured with pulse-wave velocity and augmentation index.

Blood pressure was measured with a digital oscillometric monitor after a supine rest of 15 minutes and also by 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

Click here to read the rest of this article from Medpage Today

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