Drinking alcohol is harmful to your heart and general health. It increases health risks such as high blood pressure, heart failure, increased levels of triglycerides (a type of fat) in the blood, strokes and some cancers. Other serious effects may include heart muscle damage, heart rhythm disturbances and sudden cardiac death. 

Alcohol also contributes to weight gain because it is often high in sugar and kilojoules. It also lowers your inhibitions which may make it more challenging to stick to healthy eating when you have been drinking. 

The HSFSA recommends that you should talk to your doctor about lowering your cardiovascular risk.

Are there any benefits of drinking alcohol?

Risks due to alcohol consumption increase for most cardiovascular diseases, including hypertensive heart disease, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation and flutter, and stroke. The widespread message for over 30 years has been to promote the myth that alcohol prolongs life, chiefly by reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Lack of universal advice and stringent policy measures have contributed towards increased uptake and easy availability of alcohol. The WHO has called for a 10% relative reduction in the harmful use of alcohol between 2013-2025. However, lack of investment in proven alcohol control strategies, as well as persistence of misinformation and industry interference, have hindered the efforts of public health professionals to make sufficient progress in reducing alcohol related harms and death.

To learn more about risk factors associated with alcohol, click here