Effects of Alcohol on Risk of Strokes and Heart Attacks

What are the effects of alcohol on risk of stroke or heart attack?


          1. Research
          2. Risk Factors
          3. Resources

I. Research: Effects of Alcohol on Risk of Strokes and Heart Attacks.

Researchers examined the effects of alcohol on risk of strokes and heart attacks. To do so they studied data from 204,557 people in the NHIS-National Sample Cohort. That’s a sample of the South Korean population.

The researchers looked at biennial health exam findings and the later incidence of diseases and death. The average follow-up period was 9.1 years. They found the following events.

    • alcohol on risk of strokesIschemic stroke (3,274).
    • Hemorrhagic stroke (1,056).
    • Heart attack (1,065).
    • All-cause mortality (N =  8,771).

Moderate alcohol drinkers had lower risk of stroke, heart attack, and all-cause death. But the risk of both hemorrhagic stroke and all-cause mortality was much higher among heavy drinkers.1

II. Risk Factors for Strokes and Heart Disease

Here are some important facts about risk factors.

    1. A risk factor is anything that increases the chances of developing a particular disease.
    2. Having one or more risk factors doesn’t mean that the person will get the disease.
    3. Not having a risk factor doesn’t mean that the person won’t get the disease.
    4. Having had a stroke is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
    5. Having one of several types of heart disease is a risk factor for stroke.
    6. Stroke and coronary heart disease share many of the same risk factors. They include these.
    • Smoking
    • Physical inactivity.
    • Obesity
    • Abstaining from alcohol.
    • Abusing alcohol.
    • High LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.
    • Low HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
    • High blood pressure.
    • Diabetes
    • Family history of stroke or heart attack.

 We have control of the most important risk factors. And that’s for both stroke and coronary heart disease.


III. Resources: Effects of Alcohol on Risk of Strokes and Heart Attacks

YouTube Video
    1. Kim, D., et al. Alcohol Consumption. Benefit versus Harm in Vascular Events and Overall Mortality. Stroke, 49, Supp 1.