The abuse of alcohol can harm the heart tissue, which is very dangerous for the health of the entire cardiovascular system, Journal of the American Heart Association reported.
Previous studies have also shown that alcohol abuse increases the risk of heart failure, hypertension, heart attacks, strokes and arrhythmias. But the mechanisms of the relationship between alcohol and these diseases were not completely clear.
The authors of the new study analyzed three indicators of heart damage in the blood of over 2500 adult residents of northwestern Russia aged 35 to 69 years and around 280 of them were treated for alcoholism.
By three indicators in the blood, it was possible to determine the level of heart damage, tension of the heart wall and the level of inflammation. As it turned out, compared with those who drank little or no alcohol at all, in patients treated for alcoholism, indicators of heart damage were increased by more than 10%, and indicators of heart wall tension were increased by 47% and increased by 69% inflammation level.
According to the authors of the study, alcohol abusers develop higher than usual levels of inflammation, which is linked to a number of serious health problems, including heart disease. Heart damage can develop long before the onset of the first symptoms.