Drink To Your Heart`s Content and Be Sorry

Released on: May 29, 2008, 11:19 am

Press Release Author: DrugstoreTM

Industry: Healthcare

Press Release Summary: While research suggests that moderate alcohol consumption
may have health benefits, heavy drinking increases blood pressure, stiffens blood
vessels, and causes more rigid heart muscles in men and enlarged hearts in women -
all risk factors for cardiovascular disease,

Press Release Body: May 28, 2008, Dublin -- A new study warns that excessive
drinking can raise the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease particularly among
women. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. About
17.5 million people die from CVD each year, and that toll could increase to almost
20 million by 2015.

Drinking frequency was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease among
men, but it raised the risk of cancer among women. As with men, women who drank more
alcohol at a sitting were more likely to have died.

In a prepared statement, lead investigator Dr. Azra Mahmud, a cardiovascular
lecturer and hypertension specialist at St. James Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, said
these shocking findings illustrate the extreme risks that heavy drinkers are
exposing themselves to, some of which are particularly pronounced in women.

The study included 100 women and 100 men divided into three groups; non-drinkers,
moderate drinkers, and heavy drinkers. Moderate drinkers are those who consume less
than 21 units of alochol per week for males; and less than 14 on females. Male heavy
drinkers have more than 21 while female heavy drinkers have at least 14. Men who
drink more than 21 units of alcohol per week and women who drink more than 14 a week
put themselves at serious risk for hypertensive heart disease, heart failure and

The participants underwent a number of tests including ultrasound of the heart to
assess arterial stiffness and pulse wave velocity to measure aortic blood pressure
and wave reflection in the aorta.

The results showed that heavy drinking is associated with arterial stiffening and
impaired left ventricular (LV) relaxation in males, and LV structural changes,
including LV enlargement (hypertrophy) in females. Of special note, women who were
heavy drinkers had an enlarged heart even without high blood pressure or stiff

Mahmud also noted that trends in heavy drinking continue to rise, and it is high
time to recognize the potential of an alcohol-induced epidemic of cardiovascular
disease. Binge and heavy drinkers must consider their behavior and control their
intake before it\'s too late.

The study will be presented at the American Society of Hypertension annual meeting,
in New Orleans.

Web Site: http://www.drugstoretm.com

Contact Details: Michael Corvin

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