Alcohol Raises Risk of Heart Disease in Women, Study Finds

It is National Women's Health Week. A cardiologist comments on a recent study showing how too much alcohol can put some women at greater risk for heart disease.

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CLEVELAND - It is National Women’s Health Week.

A recent study found that women who drank at least eight alcoholic beverages per week were 33 to 51% more likely to develop heart disease.

Roughly 430,000 women between the ages of 18 and 65 were involved with the research.

“There’s lots of myths out there about drinking alcohol and how maybe drinking one glass of red wine decreases heart disease, but we know that alcohol actually increases blood pressure, it increases your risk for getting atrial fibrillation,” explained Leslie Cho, MD, cardiologist for Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Cho was not a part of the study but is glad to hear that this kind of research is being done to show the risks of alcohol – especially for women.

She said since the pandemic, it appears women have been drinking more than they used to, with some saying they do it to help with stress.

Dr. Cho advises those individuals to reflect on their drinking habits and consider healthier options for relaxation.

For example, you can practice mindfulness, meditation or seek out cognitive behavioral therapy.

And it’s not just daily drinkers that need to be careful.

“There are people who don’t drink on weekdays but then they drink heavily on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I think we need to be aware of how much we drink,” said Dr. Cho. “If you are drinking more than six to eight ounces of wine, or if you’re drinking more than a glass of beer, 12 ounces, or more than an ounce or two of hard liquor a day, that’s too much.”

Dr. Cho also encourages women to make sure they are seeing their primary care physicians for annual checkups.

She said it’s important to know where you stand with your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.

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