A Sobering Reality for Women Who Enjoy a Daily Drink

Are you someone who enjoys winding down with a glass of wine after a long day? While the occasional drink might seem harmless, recent research suggests that it could pose significant risks to your heart health, especially if you're a woman.

Let's explore the findings of a recent study linking daily drinking with heart disease risks. Then we'll take a look at actionable tips to help you make informed choices around drinking when it comes to your heart health.

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Daily Drinking Raises Heart Disease Risk, Especially for Women

A study presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session has shed light on the connection between alcohol consumption and heart disease.

The study, which focused on adults aged 18 to 65, revealed alarming statistics, especially for women. It found that young to middle-aged women who consumed eight or more alcoholic beverages per week had a significantly higher risk of developing coronary heart disease compared to those who drank less (1). That amounts to just over one drink per day.

What the study found

The study included data from over 430,000 individuals, with nearly 243,000 men and 189,000 women, and found (2):

  • Women who reported high alcohol intake had a 45% higher risk of heart disease compared to those with low intake.
  • Moderate intake among women was associated with a 29% higher risk compared to low intake.
  • Men with high alcohol intake were 22% more likely to develop heart disease compared to those with moderate intake.

The study's findings are particularly concerning as they highlight the heightened risk of heart disease among women without a history of binge drinking. Women also metabolize alcohol differently than men, making them more susceptible to its adverse effects.

Read: Doctors Often Miss This When Discussing Statins + Heart Disease

What's considered low, moderate, and high alcohol intake?

For women, low alcohol intake is defined as one to seven drinks per week, moderate intake as eight to 14 drinks per week, and high intake as more than 14 drinks per week.

For men, low intake is considered one to 14 drinks per week, moderate intake as 15 to 21 drinks per week, and high intake as over 21 drinks per week (3).

In the study, heart disease risk was highest among both men and women who reported heavy episodic drinking, or “binge” drinking.

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The Impact of Alcohol on Heart Health

While it’s well known that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to numerous health issues such as liver damage and addiction, the findings of this study highlight the potentially negative effects even moderate drinking can have on heart health. Alcohol consumption can cause or worsen risk factors for heart disease, including (4):

  • High blood pressure
  • Metabolic changes
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity

Alcohol consumption has also been linked to an increase in triglycerides (fat particles) in the bloodstream, which can contribute to plaque buildup in the arteries. If you’re otherwise healthy, but have noticed increasing triglycerides without another explanation, it could be helpful to reduce or eliminate alcohol from your diet.

Related: Nitric Oxide to Lower Blood Pressure & Improve Heart Health

Taking Control of Your Heart Health

You can reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular health problems with the help of functional medicine. We can help you gain clarity on the full picture of your heart health by evaluating your individual risk factors, as well as the levels of important biomarkers.

Know your risk factors

Knowing the risk factors that contribute to heart disease is essential for men and women alike. These include high blood pressure, smoking, family history, poor diet, lack of exercise, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Monitor your biomarkers

Monitoring your biomarkers such as cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and C-reactive protein (CRP) can help assess your risk for heart disease. Talk to your doctor about getting regular check-ups and monitoring these key indicators of good health.

Reduce the Impact of Alcohol on Your Heart

If you’re someone who enjoys a daily drink, it’s essential to be aware of your alcohol intake and its potential impact on your heart health. Here are some actionable tips for taking control:

  • Keep track of your drinks: Be mindful of how many drinks you consume per week and try to stay within the recommended low or moderate levels (less than 3 drinks on any one day). Use a tracking app or journal to help you stay on track.
  • Pace yourself: Avoid drinking too quickly, and aim for one drink per hour. This will give your body time to process the alcohol and minimize its impact on your heart.
  • Choose healthier alternatives: Instead of reaching for a glass of wine, consider indulging in other beverages such as tea, sparkling water, or alcohol-free mocktails.
  • Monitor Health: Regularly check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels to stay on top of your heart health.
  • Talk to a provider: If you have any concerns about your heart health, it’s always best to consult with a qualified, integrative medicine provider. They can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your specific health needs.

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Alternative Strategies for Relaxation and Socializing

If you find it challenging to cut back on alcohol, consider these alternatives:

  • Mocktails: Enjoy non-alcoholic beverages that are equally delicious and satisfying.
  • Mindfulness Practices: Engage in activities like yoga and meditation to relax and unwind.
  • Social Activities: Plan outings that don’t revolve around alcohol, such as hiking or visiting a museum.

Key Takeaway

The findings of this study serve as a wake-up call for women who consume alcohol regularly. It’s essential to recognize the potential risks and take proactive steps to protect your heart health. By understanding the impact of alcohol, making informed lifestyle choices, and seeking support when needed, you can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.Consider your alcohol consumption in the context of your overall health. If you’re unsure where to start, consult with a provider at CentreSpringMD who can provide personalized advice and support.


heart health, Holistic Medicine, women

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.
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