The effects of long-term alcohol abuse has been studied for quite some time. Researchers and medical professionals are quick to warn people that they may suffer from liver disease, brain damage and other health problems brought on by a heavy drinker’s lifestyle. However, there is not much in the way of research when it comes to medical risks present right after alcohol is consumed. A new study released by researchers at Harvard show that people are at a greater risk for a heart attack or a stroke in the hour after they consume their last drink.
“We found that even moderate alcohol consumption – one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men – may raise a person’s risk of a heart attack or stroke approximately two-fold within the hour following consumption compared to other times,” explained Elizabeth Mostofsky, a researcher from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in the U.S.
In order to arrive at this conclusion, researchers poured over information gathered from 23 different studies, involving a total of 30,000 subjects. From the data, they were able to determine that alcohol greatly effects a person’s chance of experiencing a stroke or a heart attack soon after alcohol consumption, and people who are considered to be heavy drinkers expand this health risk much longer than one hour after drinking. This is because alcohol causes a person’s heart rate to increase, blood pressure to rise and blood platelets to become stickier, which combine to be a risky health situation.
People who drink six to nine drinks in a dingle day are almost twice as likely to have a stroke or a heart attack, while People who drink 19 to 30 drinks a week can increase their chances by six times. These powerful results help illustrate that more than just the liver is affected by alcohol use. The brain and the heart are in danger as soon as someone starts consuming alcohol, and even more so for people who routinely drink larger amounts.
If you have a loved one struggling with alcohol abuse, contact Genesis House today to learn more about our successful treatment and recovery program.