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Alcohol and the heart: To abstain or not to abstain?

  • Rajesh Movva
    Affiliations
    Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, United States
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  • Vincent M. Figueredo
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Thomas Jefferson University, Einstein Heart and Vascular Institute, Albert Einstein Medical Center, 5501 Old York Road, Philadelphia PA 19141, United States. Tel.: +1 215 456 8819; fax: +1 215 456 3533.
    Affiliations
    Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, United States

    Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, United States
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Published:February 15, 2012DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2012.01.030

      Abstract

      Alcohol has been consumed by most societies over the last 7000 years. Abraham Lincoln said “It has long been recognized that the problems with alcohol relate not to the use of a bad thing, but to the abuse of a good thing.” Light to moderate alcohol consumption reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD), ischemic stroke, peripheral arterial disease, CHD mortality, and all-cause mortality, especially in the western populations. However, heavy alcohol consumption is detrimental causing cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmias, hepatic cirrhosis, pancreatitis, and hemorrhagic stroke. In this article, we review the effects of alcohol on CHD, individual cardiovascular risk factors, cardiomyopathy, and cardiac arrhythmias, including the most recent evidence of the effects of alcohol on CHD.

      Keywords

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