Surviving a stroke, heart attack, or angina provides a person with an opportunity to take stock of the daily choices regarding their health. People with CVD who drink alcohol may reconsider the role alcohol plays in their lives in the future.
As per a new study, drinking up to 7.5 alcoholic drinks per week may lower the risk of recurring angina, stroke, heart attack, and death in those with CVD who already drink than those who do not. In the U.S., the standard alcoholic drink contains 14 grams of alcohol. Since different percentages of alcohol are contained in different potables, a single drink in the U.S. could be:
- 1.5 oz of distilled spirits, contains about 80% alcohol
- 12 oz of beer contains roughly 5% alcohol
- 5 oz of wine, about 12% alcohol
Chengyi Ding, the corresponding author, says, “Our findings suggest that people with CVD may not need to stop drinking to prevent additional heart attacks, strokes, or angina, but that they may wish to consider lowering their weekly alcohol intake.”
The came in BMC Medicine, a journal part of Springer Nature. The study does not recommend that people with CVD who are non-drinkers start drinking. The authors of the study in the U.K. analyzed health records for 48,423 adults with CVD. The Scottish Health Survey, Health Survey for England, The U.K. Biobank provided the data. The data from individuals were used in the study who had self-reported and documented their alcohol consumption for 14 years from 1994–2008. The researchers for the study matched their histories with death-registry records, health, hospital admissions.
Interventional cardiologist Hoang Nguyen said in the study among its alcohol users heavy drinkers were not analyzed or those who have stopped drinking due to health issues, “making the current drinkers more healthy compared to non-drinkers.” The authors also excepted this limitation. He also cautioned that “with any analysis, you have to worry about the quality of the sub-studies in the analysis.” Only nine of 14 studies included in the analysis could find the medicines the participants were taking.
According to Dr. Hoang, regardless of potential benefits, inebriation remains a concern. “Most of my patients are elderly patients, and a little bit of alcohol can cause them to fall, and if they’re on blood thinners, that may cause severe bleeding issues.”