ACC: Binge Drinking Further Increases CVD Risk With High Alcohol Consumption

Link between alcohol and heart disease appears to be especially strong among women
ACC: Binge Drinking Further Increases CVD Risk With High Alcohol Consumption
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TUESDAY, April 2, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of alcohol consumption are associated with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among men and women aged 65 years and younger, with even higher risk seen among those who also "binge" drink, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held from April 6 to 8 in Atlanta.

Jamal S. Rana, M.D., Ph.D., from Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues examined whether or not heavy episodic drinking days (HED; i.e., "binge" drinking), in conjunction with habitual drinking, impacts CVD risk among U.S. adults. The analysis included 697,985 adults (43 percent women) who, in 2014 to 2015, reported drinking alcohol as part of regular health care screening.

The researchers found that for men and women (aged 18 to 65 years), those with high total consumption (≥15 drinks/week for men; eight or more drinks/week for women) had higher odds of CVD compared with those with moderate (three to 14 drinks/week for men; three to seven drinks/week for women) or low (one to two drinks/week for men or women) consumption. Associations were stronger among those reporting any HED (five or more drinks on any day in past three months for men and four or more for women; 20.8 percent). For men older than 65 years, CVD risk was not increased with or without HED. For women older than 65 years and HED, moderate and high total consumptions more than doubled the odds of CVD versus that seen with low consumption.

"Women feel they’re protected against heart disease until they’re older, but this study shows that even when you’re young or middle aged, if you are a heavy alcohol user or binge drink, you are at risk for coronary heart disease," Rana said in a statement.

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