According to a new study, people who are addicted to alcohol and abuse it are at a greater risk of suffering from three particular cardiac conditions. Much like smoking, alcohol abuse is apparently a risk factor that can increase a person’s likelihood of having a heart attack, and suffering from atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure.
The researchers claim that the link between alcohol abuse and these cardiac conditions is the same as that with diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Dr. Gregory Marcus led the research at the University of California, San Francisco, and the study was eventually published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Gregory is the director of clinical research at the university’s division of cardiology.
The researchers discovered that even if a person does not have any underlying risk factors, their risk of suffering from these heart conditions is still higher if they abuse alcohol. This study revolved around a database consisting of 15 million residents of California who are 21 years old or older. Between 2005 and 2009, all of these people had undergone emergency room treatment, inpatient hospital care or outpatient surgery. 2% of these people had received an alcohol abuse diagnosis.
To ensure that no other risk factors influenced the statistics, they were accordingly adjusted by the researchers. They discovered that amongst these 15 million people, those who abused alcohol had a 2.3 times greater risk of having congestive heart failure, a 2 times greater risk of having a heart attack, and a 1.4 times greater risk of suffering from atrial fibrillation.
However, the study could not manage to establish a definite and direct causation link between alcohol abuse and these three cardiac conditions. So, it has not effectively been proven that the risk of suffering from these conditions tends to rise directly as a result of abusing alcohol. Nonetheless, the general belief is that the risk of these heart conditions increases in a similar manner from conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity as it would from alcohol abuse.
It should actually not come as a surprise that people are at a considerably greater risk of having a heart attack if they have received a diagnosis of some form of alcohol abuse. The researchers are hoping that readers who go through the data presented in the study will perhaps become more cautious about their excessive drinking habits. Best of all, this study makes sure that it does not support the misconception and notion that alcohol is good for the heart so that people nothing to justify their alcohol abuse. The data presented in this study is actually proving the opposite.
Dr. Gregory Marcus has also stated that when compared to previous finds, the ones discovered during this latest research are more reliable. This is apparently because this time, they did not rely solely on “self-reports of alcohol abuse” for their research. That is evidently unreliable since people who are heavy drinkers can lie about it. Instead, they took a look at the medical records of patients to document their alcohol abuse.