Moderate alcohol consumption is enough to worsen heart failure

posted on 05/24/2022 16:10

  (credit: European Society of Cardiology/disclosure)

(credit: European Society of Cardiology/disclosure)

A study presented at Heart Failure 2022, the scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology, showed that levels of alcohol, which are currently considered safe, are linked to the development of heart failure.

The study included 744 adults over 40 years of age at risk of developing heart failure due to risk factors (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity) or with pre-existing heart failure (risk factors and cardiac abnormalities, but no symptoms). ). The study used the Irish definition of a standard drink (ie, one unit), which is 10 grams of alcohol.

Participants were divided into four categories according to their weekly alcohol consumption: 1) none; 2) low (less than seven units; up to a 750ml bottle of 12.5% ​​wine or three and a half 500ml cans of 4.5% beer); 3) moderate (7-14 units; up to two bottles of 12.5% ​​wine or seven 500mL cans of 4.5% beer); 4) high (above 14 units; more than two bottles of wine 12.5% ​​or seven 500 ml cans of beer 4.5%).

The researchers analyzed participants over an average of five years. A total of 201 (27%) patients reported not using alcohol, while 356 (48%) were low users and 187 (25%) had moderate or high alcohol consumption.

In the group that already had pre-heart failure, moderate or high alcohol intake increased the risk of worsening heart health by four to five times. In the risk group, there was no association between moderate or high alcohol use with progression to pre-heart failure or symptomatic heart failure.

Low intake also showed no significant changes. Therefore, the researchers conclude that drinking more than 70g of alcohol per week may worsen heart disease tendencies.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Europe has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol. The region is the world’s biggest alcoholic drinker, with more than a fifth of the European population aged 15 and over reporting consumption of five or more drinks at a time, or 60g of alcohol, at least once a week.

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