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The Effects of Alcohol on the Heart

The Effects of Alcohol on the Heart

Many people are familiar with the dangers of binge drinking or the damaging effects that alcohol can have on their liver, but few are familiar with the effects of alcohol on the heart.

Like other drugs, alcohol impacts several parts of the body when it is consumed, and over time, these effects can lead to serious problems. Someone with an unhealthy relationship to alcohol should seek out professional help to stop drinking like at our Stuart residential rehab.

Alcohol & The Heart

Over the years, there have been extensive studies on the heart effects from alcohol. Different studies come to different conclusions with mixed results. One of the biggest reasons for these varying findings is the amount of alcohol consumed as well as the frequency of this consumption.

The Short-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Heart

Many people consume alcohol at least once in their lifetime. While one or two drinks may not seem to have that much of an affect, it can still impact various parts of the body.

The short-term effects of alcohol on the heart and cardiovascular system include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure1

For people only drinking in small amounts occasionally, alcohol can be mostly harmless for the heart for individuals with good cardiovascular health. There is even some evidence to suggest regular to moderate drinking, like no more than two drinks a day for men or one drink a day for women, can decrease the risk of heart disease.2 The validity and reliability of these studies are still being debated, so people should not use drinking as a means of reducing their risk.1

Unfortunately, most people are not able to stick to such a strict regimen and are bound to get carried away with their drinking at some point or another. Even just one episode of binge drinking can lead to much more serious problems, especially if it escalates into alcohol poisoning.

In regards to the cardiovascular system, binge drinking and alcohol poisoning can lead to:

  • Irregular heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased risk of heart attack, especially for those with underlying cardiovascular problems 2


The Long-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Heart

Over time, regular drinking, especially in excess, can lead to more serious health problems.

The long-term effects of alcohol on the heart and cardiovascular system include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Peripheral arterial disease1

Alcoholics may start to notice the effects of alcohol on the heart and cardiovascular system such as chest pain or inhibited functions, but they may still struggle to quit. Our alcohol detox program in Stuart could help you or your loved one stop drinking before these problems escalate and lead to permanent damage.

If you or a loved one has a drinking problem, our Stuart rehab may be able to help before these serious health problems develop.

If you want to find out more information about our programs at Banyan Detox Stuart or are ready to take the first step to sobriety, reach out to us today. Call 888-280-4763.


  1. NCBI - Alcohol’s Effects on the Cardiovascular System
  2. Washington Post - Another reason not to binge-drink: It can give you a heart attack or stroke

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
The Effects of Alcohol on the Heart
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