Heavy Drinking Linked to Strokes in Middle Age
Are you thinking about having that extra glass of wine with dinner tonight? If you’re in your 50’s or 60’s, you may want to avoid it, as heavy mid-life drinking is as likely to cause a stroke and diabetes. Drinking too much alcohol and blood pressure increase can happen to anyone but if you’re hitting mid-life the dangers increase.
Compared to light or non-drinkers, heavy drinkers were 34% more likely to have a stroke, according to a new study. That risk appeared to begin earlier in life for heavy drinkers as well, on average approximately five years earlier than light or nondrinkers.
The study appeared in the medical journal Stroke and was one of the most extensive studies of its kind. With a massive sample size of 11,664 Swedish twins taken from a Swedish twin registry, researchers were able to control for other variables such as genetics, gender, race, and lifestyle. Even when controlling for these variables, those who averaged more than two drinks per night were more likely to suffer a stroke.
A mechanism for why heavy drinkers were more likely to suffer stroke was not identified in the study, though researchers stated one possible explanation would be that heavy drinking might increase the risk of the type of stroke that’s caused by blood vessels bursting, known as a hemorrhagic stroke. The increase in alcohol and blood pressure increase caused by drinking too much would, in this case, be the cause of the stroke.
Understanding of Health Consequences of Alcohol Reinforced
Researchers have long debated the potential health consequences of alcohol. Although the community is unanimous on the effects of heavy drinking, the effects of lighter drinking are often debated. For example, some studies have shown that light drinking can actually lower your blood pressure.
The authors of the study warned that heavy drinkers, especially those in middle age, should lessen their drinking if they are above the recommended threshold of two drinks per night for men under 65 and one drink a night for men over 65 and women.
Reduce Your Drinking with Professional Help
Reducing your drinking can be a dangerous task if done too suddenly. For drinkers with high blood pressure, quitting drinking suddenly can cause a major spike in blood pressure that will last for several days. For very heavy drinkers, quitting drinking cold turkey can result in serious withdrawal symptoms, such as delirium tremens, seizure, and serious problems with internal organs.
Don’t try to end your drinking cold turkey. Reduce your drinking slowly over several weeks. If that’s not possible, an alcohol detox facility can help provide you with the medical assistance you need to get back in control. Serenity House Detox will keep you safe and comfortable through the whole process. Call 866-294-5306 today to verify your health insurance.