Saturday, September 09, 2006

Alcohol and Heart Failure

Looking at what is happening around the alcohol story, it appears that the bad drink is slowly becoming the good friend. This view is probably due to the French paradox (which boosted the use of wine - especially red wine), and also very much due to the reduced incidence of hard liqour consumption.

We now know that mild to moderate alcohol consumption is good for the heart, as it increases HDL-C (the good cholesterol, that reduces plaque inflammation), thereby protecting the heart against CAD. How do we know that moderate alcohol consumption, in those who were not previously alcoholic, protects against heart failure? This was the result of a study done by Dr Cryson et al, and reported in the latest issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

What then is moderate consumption? In this study, that included people who had 1-6 drinks a week. They had the lowest incidence of CCF, when compared to abstainers. The former drinkers had the highest incidence of CCF. We must continue to stress that those who drink 7-13 drinks a week or more, then to have hypertension, and there is obviously the risk of Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy, which will bring about heart failure.

For all who enjoy a good glass of red wine (whites are also fine) 30 decilitre daily is just fine. Makes us feel good, and also protects our heart from CAD and also CCF. And by the way, 30cc daily usually does not affect my driving. For you, well you must know your limits. As a gentle reminder, do not drink and drive.

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