Though light to moderate drinking has been revealed to be good for the heart, two or more alcoholic beverages every day may actually damage the hearts of elderly people.
Alcohol can become harmful for the heart if consumed in high quantities according to lead author Dr. Scott Solomon from Harvard Medical School.
Researchers evaluated weekly alcohol consumption among 4,466 people with an average age of 76 and found that the more people drank, the more damage was done to their hearts.
The study found that men who consume more than 14 drinks per week, deemed to be heavy drinking, have enlarged hearts. However, elderly women were found to be much more susceptible to the effects of drinking lightly, in which the study considered to be 7 or fewer drinks per week.
The researchers examined at the size of the heart chambers, accordingly a higher amount of alcohol consumption led to an increased left ventricular mass.
“In spite of potential benefits of low alcohol intake, our findings highlight the possible hazards to cardiac structure and function by increased amounts of alcohol consumption in the elderly, particularly among women,” said Alexandra Gonçalves, M.D.; Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women’s in Boston, in apress release. “This reinforces the U.S. recommendations stating that those who drink should do so with moderation.”
The work is circulated in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.