Drinking alcohol in moderation seems to benefit male coronary artery bypass patients. According to a recent study, light to moderate alcohol consumption causes 25 percent fewer subsequent cardiovascular procedures, heart attacks, strokes and death among male patients with coronary artery bypass. Moderate to heavy drinkers apparently have double the threat of cardiovascular deaths.
While light to moderate alcohol consumption refers five to 30 grams of alcohol daily, moderate to heavy is more than 60 grams each day. In the study 1,021 patients subjected to heart bypass answered a standard questionnaire. The patients were monitored for subsequent bypass procedures, heart attacks, strokes and cardiac deaths during the following 3 1/2 years. It appeared that those having two drinks per day report fewer cardiovascular events than abstainers.
Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption of four drinks a day by patients with left ventricular problems leads to a dramatically greater risk of dying. Umberto Benedetto, M.D., Ph.D. at the University of Rome La Sapienza in Italy and colleagues recommend that alcohol intake should be completely avoided by patients with left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure. Excess alcohol intake may increase blood pressure and result in various other negative effects.
The study was presented at the American Heart’s Association’s Scientific Sessions 2010.