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Alcohol and Heart Health Q&A - Part 2

February 8, 2013

In our last post, we talked about the recommended limits for drinking alcohol. Today, we will take a look at the possible heart healthy benefits of alcohol and provide alcohol consumption tips for people with heart conditions.

Q: Is it true that alcohol can be beneficial to my heart health?

Alcohol FAQs for Heart HealthA: According to some studies, drinking 1 or 2 units of alcohol a day may lower heart disease risk, especially in men who are over 40 years old and women who have reached menopause. Red wine seems to offer more heart healthy benefits than other kinds of alcohol. However, it is best not to start drinking if you have not yet developed a drinking habit. You can improve your heart health more effectively by observing a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking.

Q: I have just been hospitalized for a heart condition. When can I start drinking alcohol again?

A: If you have been hospitalized for a heart condition or had a heart surgery recently, it is advisable that you get approval from your doctor before you start drinking. It is particularly important that you avoid consuming too much alcohol if you are taking warfarin or other anticoagulant medications, because too much alcohol can affect blood clotting. Also, bear in mind that painkillers or sleeping pills can make alcohol more powerful.

Q: Is it safe to drink alcohol if I am suffering from a heart condition?

A: It is relatively safe for most people who have a heart condition to consume alcohol, provided that they do not drink more than the recommended limits. Nonetheless, it is advisable that you refrain from drinking alcohol altogether if you are suffering from certain types of cardiomyopathy or other conditions.

If you want to find out whether or not it is safe for you to consume alcohol, you can get advice from our cardiologists.

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