CLEVELAND – For years, there have been claims that red wine can be good for your heart, but the World Heart Federation says otherwise.
In their latest policy brief, they announced that no amount of alcohol is safe.
“We know from lots of studies that alcohol does raise blood pressure, a little bit, not a lot, but you increase blood pressure even a little bit, it increases the risk of stroke. And so, the idea that maybe a drink or two a day is good, probably is wrong,” explained Steven Nissen, MD, cardiologist for Cleveland Clinic.
According to the World Heart Federation, In 2019, nearly 2.4 million deaths were attributed to alcohol, accounting for 4.3% of all deaths globally. In addition, alcohol has been linked to a variety of diseases and cancer.
Dr. Nissen said it’s clear from all of the research available that alcohol isn’t beneficial. However, if someone does want to drink, moderation is key, but even that can be a slippery slope.
The organization also made several recommendations to help reduce alcohol consumption and is now calling on governments for more advocacy.
“I do think we need to communicate clearly to the public that alcohol is not beneficial, that a little bit of alcohol is probably not harmful, but don’t expect benefits,” said Dr. Nissen.
He said if you are concerned about how much alcohol you or a loved one is drinking on a regular basis, it’s important to reach out for help.