GP Clinics


Can Alcohol Improve Heart Function?

IIndividuals with no known cardiovascular (CV) risk factors who consume a moderate amount of alcohol tend to have more favorable echocardiography results than their counterparts who do not consume alcohol, according to new research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session and Expo.
To examine the effects of modest alcohol consumption on CV structure and function, David Cameron, MD, and colleagues studied the echocardiography findings of 7163 participants—2847 who reported being non-drinkers and 4316 who reported being moderate drinkers (defined as having 7 or fewer alcoholic drinks per week).
None of the participants had obesity, a history of hypertension, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, renal disease, reduced left ventricular function, heart failure, valve disease, or prior alcohol abuse.
The researchers determined that, in unadjusted analyses, there were significant differences between the echocardiography results of those who did not drink and those who consumed a moderate amount of alcohol. 
“In a cohort of patients without known cardiovascular risk factors, modest drinkers had favorable echocardiography findings in comparison to non-drinkers, including decreased LV wall thickness, smaller atrial diameter, and increased lateral e’ velocity,” the researchers concluded.

Cameron D, Bach D, Kolias T, LaBounty T. Modest alcohol consumption is associated with favorable findings on echocardiography. Paper presented at: American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session and Expo; March 16-18, 2019; New Orleans, LA. 73/9_Supplement_1/1605. Accessed March 18, 2019.