Heart and cardiovascular

Moderate alcohol consumption can benefit the heart and cardiovascular system

For some people, particularly middle-aged and older men and post-menopausal women, moderate alcohol consumption provides some protection against heart attack, coronary vascular disease, ischaemic stroke and death from cardiovascular causes.

Medical research has reported that moderate alcohol consumption may benefit the heart and blood vessels, in part, because it elevates high-density lipoproteins (also known as 'HDL' or 'good cholesterol') in the blood and has other positive effects on the blood and blood vessels.

Robust scientific evidence on the beneficial effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cardiovascular health has accumulated over the past 30 years and has been repeated in studies conducted in at least 25 countries. These studies report that, for some individuals, moderate drinking may be a protective factor against coronary heart disease. The evidence also suggests that the strongest association is seen where drinking is moderate and regular, whether daily or on most days of the week.

Prolonged heavy drinking, however, has been associated with haemorrhagic stroke, congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation.