According to a study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging a drink or two a day may no longer be good for your heart when you are getting old. For elderly people drinking affects the structure of the heart and it makes it work less efficiently. Moreover women are exposed to an even higher risk.
The researched involved 4.400 participants with the average age of 76. The people involved in the study drank moderately which means two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. It seems that women who drink only one drink per day show a small reduction in heart function. In the case of men those participants who consumed more than 14 drinks a week the researchers observed that the wall of the left ventricle of the heart was enlarged.
The lead author of the study Dr. Alexandra Gonçalves of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital explained that in the case of elderly people increasing the dose of alcohol generates slight alteration in heart function and structure. She also added that women are more vulnerable to the toxic influence of alcohol.
Past studies have indicated that light to moderate drinking is good because it protects against certain types of cardiovascular diseases. Cardiology Professor Dr. Gregg Fonarow from the University of California, Los Angeles remarked that although heavy consumption can lead to heart failure and heart disease other studies indicate that moderate consumption of alcohol is linked with a decreased risk of strokes and heart attacks compared to nondrinkers.
However it seems that according to this new study moderate alcohol intake leads to the change in movement, configuration and size of various components of the heart. According to Gonçalves older people should pay attention to this. She remarked:
“In spite of potential benefits of low alcohol intake, our findings highlight the possible hazards to cardiac structure and function by increased amounts of alcohol consumption in the elderly, particularly among women.”
It seems that the cause of this is the fact that women metabolize and absorb alcohol differently than men do.
Earlier this year another study showed that middle aged people who exceed what is considered to be moderate drinking are exposed to an increased risk of stroke
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