The effects of alcohol on the heart are complex. In the short term, it can increase heart rate and blood pressure. It can weaken the heart muscle and cause heart rhythm disturbances. In the long term, it significantly increases the risk of heart failure and heart attack.

Alcohol and Heart Attack Risk

Studies show that alcohol consumption increases the risk of heart attack by 20-30%. This risk also increases as the amount of alcohol consumed increases. People who consume more than two glasses of alcohol a day have twice the risk of heart attack compared to those who do not consume alcohol at all.

Harm of Alcohol to the Heart

The exact mechanism by which alcohol damages the heart is not known, but some important factors include

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Increases triglycerides: Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood. High triglyceride levels increase the risk of heart attack.
Lowers HDL (good) cholesterol: HDL cholesterol is known as "good" cholesterol and carries cholesterol from the blood to the liver. Low HDL cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart attack.
Raises blood pressure: High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack.
Causes the heart muscle to weaken: Alcohol can weaken the heart muscle and make it unable to function properly.
Can cause heart rhythm disturbances: Alcohol can cause heart rhythm disturbances, which can lead to a heart attack.