Heart Failure Risk among Men who Drink Alcohol (The Risk)

Heart failure risk is a major health problem around the world. Millions of people develop the disease each year. Both the personal and societal costs are huge.

Symptoms of heart failure.

    • Shortness of breath.
    • Swollen legs, ankles or feet.
    • Racing heartbeat.
    • Lack of appetite.
    • Feeling of a full stomach without a reason.
    • Nausea.
    • Fatigue.
    • Mental confusion.

Risk factors.

    • An earlier heart attack.
    • Coronary artery disease.
    • High blood pressure.
    • Obesity.
    • Diabetes.
    • Serious lung disease.
    • Sleep apnea.

Preventing the disease is especially important. It has a high death rate. Light and moderate drinking may help reduce heart failure risk.

Much research has found light to moderate drinking linked with reduced cardiovascular disease. It has also found such drinking associated with reduced heart failure.

Study of Heart Failure Risk

heart failure riskResearchers looked the link between drinking and heart failure risk. They studied 33,760 Swedish men age 45 to 79 at the beginning of the study. At that time they had had no heart failure, diabetes or heart attack. All former drinkers. That excluded some from the study. But there was no biasing from “sick quitters” among abstainers.

The follow-up period was 14 years. Of the men, 2,916 were either hospitalized (2,139) for or died (777) of heart failure. A U-shaped link was found between drinking level and heart failure risk.

Having seven to 14 drinks weekly gave the greatest protection. It led to a 19% lower heart failure risk. That’s compared to abstainers or heavy drinkers..



Dorans, K., et al. Alcohol and Incident Heart Failure Among Middle-Aged and Elderly Men. Circ Heart Fail.