If you like a drink every now and then, there are things you should know about how alcohol
impacts your heart. According to New Orleans Coroner, Dr. Dwight McKenna, the widely held
notion that consuming small to moderate amounts of alcohol is good for cardiovascular health is
not supported by the research.
The World Heart Federation says that in fact, there is evidence
that any level of drinking can contribute to loss of a healthy life.
“Over the past several decades, the prevalence of heart disease has nearly doubled, and alcohol
has played a major role in the incidence of much of it,“ says Dr. McKenna.
Experts say alcohol is often deemed as necessary for a vibrant social life and has diverted
attention fro the harms of alcohol use, as have the widely publicized claims that moderate
drinking, such as a glass of red wine a day can offer protection against cardiovascular disease.
Dr. McKenna says these claims are at best misinformed and at worst an attempt by the alcohol
industry to mislead the public about he danger of their product.
Research shows that in 2019, nearly 2.4 million deaths were attributed to alcohol, accounting for
4.3% of all deaths globally and 12.6% of deaths in men 15-49 years of age.
Be warned, even small amounts of alcohol have been shown to raise the risk for heart problems,
including coronary disease, stroke, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, atrial fibrillation and
aneurysm. Drinking alcohol is also a “major avoidable risk factor” for cancer, digestive diseases,
and some injuries and several infectious diseases.
So when drinking, always remember:
• Like all drugs, alcohol can damage your body, especially if you drink heavily every day or
• Potential short-term effects of alcohol include hangover and alcohol poisoning, as well as
falls and accidents, conflict, lowered inhibitions and risky behaviors.
• Long-term alcohol consumption contributes to more than 200 different types of diseases
• If you choose to drink alcohol, low level drinking is less risky than heavy drinking or
• There is no level of safe alcohol consumption.