Heart failure is a condition in which the cardiac muscle is weakened and has difficulty in providing an adequate cardiac output to meet the daily demand; leading to a variety of debilitating symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigability and chest discomfort. It can arise from any number of different causes, but the end result is the same. Now recent research published in the European Heart Journal suggest that having a drink each day might just help lower a middle-aged person’s risk for developing such a condition.
The study was performed by researchers at Harvard Medical School. In this study one drink was defined as equaling 14 grams of alcohol; this is about the amount one would find in a small glass of wine, a half-pint of beer, or just less than a shot of whiskey or vodka. The researchers then tracked drinking patterns and heart failure rates for 14,629 men and women between the ages of 45–64 over the next 25 years.
The key to health is in moderation. Those who consumed up to seven drinks per week had the lowest risk for developing heart failure compared to both heavy drinkers and abstainers. These findings suggest that men in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who drink as much as seven comparably sized glasses of wine, beer, and/or spirits per week will see their risk for heart failure drop by 20%; for women the benefit was slightly less at about 16%.