Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health (Learn How Much to Drink).

Is there a link between alcohol and cardiovascular health. If so, exactly how are they linked?


I.   Cardiovascular Health

II.  Signs of a Heart Attack

III. Signs of a Stroke

IV.  Resources

I. Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health

Researchers summarized the medical findings about drinking alcohol and cardiovascular  health. They focused on several things. One was all-cause death. That is, death from any and all causes. They also looked a coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, heart failure, and stroke, among others.

They defined light to moderate drinking as up to one standard drink per day for women. It’s up to two daily for men. The drinks can be beer, wine, or distilled spirits (liquor).

The researchers reported that such drinking is linked with a greatly lower risk of all-cause death. That’s compared to abstaining from alcohol.

alcohol and cardiovascular
Standard Drinks

Light to moderate drinking is also linked with much lower risks of coronary artery disease. It was also much lower for type 2 diabetes heart failure, and stroke.

But there can be too much of a good thing. Heavy drinking can increase the risks of poor health. The authors defined heavy drinking as having five or more drinks per day.1

Heavy drinking increases the risks of death and certain diseases. They include cardiovascular disease, reversible hypertension, atrial fibrillation, and stroke.

Light to moderate drinking (especially on a daily basis) is linked with better health and longer life. But heavy or abusive drinking is linked with the risks of poor health and shorter life.

II. Signs oa a Heart Attack

The American Heart Association identifies common symptoms of heart attacks.

    • Chest pain.
    • Discomfort in shoulder or arm (one or both arms).
    • Having cold sweats.
    • Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting.
    • Pain in the jaw, neck, or back.
    • Shortness of breath.

Heart attacks may occur suddenly. But most begin slowly. They cause discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. The pain might go away and then return.

If in any doubt, call 911. Better safe than sorry dead.

III. Signs of a Stroke

The American Stroke Association suggests using “FAST” to remember symptoms of stroke. It’s easy to do.

F – Face Drooping. Is one side of the face sagging?
A – Arm Weakness. Is one arm weak or numb?
S – Speech Difficulty. Is speech hard to understand?
T – Time to Call 911!

Call 911 if even one of these symptoms happens. And call even if the symptom goes away. Also, notice the time when a symptom first appeared. This helps doctors save your life.

Other symptoms of stroke can include one or more of these.

    • Numbness or tingling.
    • Unusual or unsteady walk.
    • Very painful headache.
    • Vision problems suddenly appear.
    • Weakness on one side of the  body.

IV. Resources


Cardiovascular disease = CVD

    • This site gives no advice. Please see your doctor with questions about alcohol and cardiovascular health.
    1. O’Keefe E., et al. Alcohol and CV Health: Jekyll and Hyde J-Curves. Prog Card Dis.