Healthy Living

Moderate Drinking Could Damage Older Hearts, Study Suggests


Generally speaking, moderate, drinking-or consuming about one alcoholic drink each day-is acceptable from a health perspective. But new research suggests that might not be the case if you are a senior citizen. The study, that was led by Dr. Alexandrea Goncalves of the Boston based Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University Medical School, included more than 4, 000 adults with a typical age of 76. Goncalves research showed that whenever older people drank one alcoholic drink every day their heart performance declined in a little, but significant way. Increase the number of beverages to two each day and the health impact is even more substantial.

According to Goncalves, it might lead to enhancement of the heart left ventricle wall, leading to serious heart disease. Sadly, it isn’t abundantly clear from the study why drinking has this impact on the heart. That is why Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a California based cardiology professor not included with the study, concerns its findings. While heavy alcohol consumption can lead to heart disease and heart failure, a number of studies have suggested that light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with lower risk of heart attack and stroke compared to non drinkers, Fonarow said. But Goncalves said his study suggests the new research needs to concentrate on the health impact of alcohol intake among the elderly. She also suggests that new reports must focus on differences in between women and men. Women may be more sensitive than men to the toxic effects of alcohol on the heart function, she said. Compared with men, women might develop alcoholic related heart problems by consuming much less alcohol over their life.