APR 02, 2024 11:00 AM PDT

Alcohol Raises Heart Disease Risk, Especially for Women

WRITTEN BY: Savannah Logan

New research presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session suggests that regularly drinking alcohol may raise the risk of developing heart disease, particularly for women.

The study included data from over 430,000 participants between the ages of 18 and 65 years old who did not have heart disease at the start of the study. During the study, information was collected on participants’ alcohol consumption in routine assessments at primary care visits. Then, the participants were followed up with for an average of four years and monitored for the development of heart disease. Participants’ alcohol intake was classified as low (1–2 drinks per week), moderate (3­–14 drinks per week for men or 3–7 drinks per week for women), or high (15 or more drinks per week for men and 8 or more drinks per week for women). Non-drinkers were excluded from the study. Each participant was also separately classified as participating in binge drinking or not, which was defined as consuming more than 4 drinks for men or more than 3 drinks for women in a single day in the previous three months. The goal of the study was to see how alcohol consumption is related to the development of heart disease.

The results showed that higher levels of alcohol consumption were associated with a greater risk of developing heart disease during the four-year follow-up period, particularly for women. Women with high alcohol intake had a 45% greater risk of developing heart disease compared to those with low intake and a 29% greater risk than those with moderate intake. Binge drinking also had a significant impact, with binge-drinking women having a 69% greater risk of heart disease than women in the low intake category. Among men, high alcohol intake was associated with a 33% higher risk compared to moderate intake. Binge drinking also increased heart disease risk for men.

The authors noted that these results are surprising partially because they impact every age group; even younger women had a higher risk of developing heart disease when they drank more alcohol. Many people do not realize that alcohol can negatively impact the heart, and these results emphasize the importance of raising awareness.

Sources: ACC, Science Daily

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Savannah (she/her) is a scientific writer specializing in cardiology at Labroots. Her background is in medical writing with significant experience in obesity, oncology, and infectious diseases. She has conducted research in microbial biophysics, optics, and education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
You May Also Like
Loading Comments...