Many people believe that drinking alcohol in moderation will not play a major negative effect on the drinker’s health. In fact, many doctors have said that regular drinking in small amounts can actually have a positive effect for the individual’s well-being. However, new evidence is beginning to surface, and it claims that having a few alcoholic beverages every day may actually be harmful to the elderly. A recent study conducted by medical researchers linked regular alcoholic consumption with heart damage in older people.
In this study, several researchers took a look at the relationship between alcoholic consumption and heart health in 4,500 people. The average age among all the participants in this study was 76. After testing in a closed environment, the researchers found that the more alcohol that the people in this study consumed, the more defining the changes were to their heart’s health and ability to function.
In men, it was found that having more than 14 drinks every week was linked to a strong increase in heart risks, particularly the enlargement of the heart’s main pumping chamber’s wall, known as the left ventricle. This study showed that the more alcohol that individuals drank on a regular basis, the more likely it was that they would potentially damage their heart’s muscles. In addition to the evidence in male drinkers, researchers found that drinking even a small amount of alcohol, such as one drink per day, was enough to slightly decrease the heart’s ability to function in women.
Such problems were particularly pronounced in the elderly, where researchers found that while there were many advantages to drinking a little bit of alcohol on a regular basis, there were many associated risks as well. Researchers believe that drinkers who want to enjoy the health benefits of alcohol should strive to limit their drinking to as little daily as possible. In one of the relevant studies, investigators found that women who drank between two and nine drinks every week were less likely to develop heart disease than women who reported to have never drank alcohol in their life.
Such studies only further emphasize the amount of caution that individuals will need to exercise when they drink regularly. Small amounts of alcohol may have a beneficial effect on the heart’s muscles, but drinking too much, even by a little every day, can increase the individual’s risks for heart problems. The American Heart Association believes that women should limit their alcohol consumption to one drink per day, while men should set that limit at two drinks per day.