Alcohol consumption increases the risk of heart disease, especially in women, according to a new study

Research has linked higher alcohol consumption to all sorts of things Cancer To Liver disease, but the message about its effects on heart health has been unclear in recent years. Now there’s new data suggesting that a regular drinking habit may increase your risk of heart disease. This seems to be particularly true for women.

The study, presented at the annual scientific session of the American College of Cardiology, analyzed data from more than 430,000 people without heart disease who were cared for by the integrated health care organization Kaiser Permanente in Northern California between 2014 and 2015. Information on participants’ alcohol consumption was collected during primary care visits, with researchers comparing this data to coronary heart disease diagnoses during a four-year follow-up period. (coronary heart desease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed, restricting blood flow. This can also increase the risk of chest pain and cardiac events, including a heart attack.)

During the study period, 3,108 participants were diagnosed with coronary artery disease, and the incidence increased as alcohol consumption increased. In women, those who had it high alcohol consumption (defined as eight or more drinks per week) had a 45% higher risk of heart disease than those who reported low intake (one to two drinks per week). Women who drank heavily also had a 29% higher risk compared to moderate drinkers who drank three to seven drinks per week.

Women in the binge drinking category were 68% more likely to develop heart disease than women who reported moderate drinking. Binge drinking was defined as consuming more than three drinks in a single day.

Men with high alcohol consumption (defined as 15 or more drinks per week) had a 33% higher risk of developing heart disease compared to men who had moderate alcohol consumption, i.e. three to 14 drinks per week.

Of note: There was no significant difference in risk between…

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