Does Alcohol Increase Risk Of Cardiomyopathy?

Alcohol consumption causes a linear increase in heart rate. The toxic effects of alcohol and the potential for a dangerously elevated heart rate make people who use alcohol twice as likely to develop certain cardiac conditions, including cardiomyopathy.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


Drinking some types of alcohol in moderation is proven to have cardiovascular benefits. That does not apply to heavy drinking or alcohol abuse.

Drinking more than one or two alcoholic drinks in a day is actually linked to increased heart rate, atrial fibrillation, and an increased risk of cardiomyopathy.

What Is Cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy is a form of heart disease affecting the heart’s muscles. Alcohol-related cardiomyopathy is a specific form of dilated cardiomyopathy.

That means that your heart’s muscles are overextending. As they stretch over and over again, the shape of your heart gradually changes, and the muscles weaken.

Weakened heart muscles are unable to pump your blood efficiently. Your tissues and organs will not receive enough oxygenated blood. This could lead to future health problems.

Cardiomyopathy does not just negatively affect your other organs. The condition also increases the likelihood that you will experience a life-threatening cardiac event, such as a stroke or heart attack.

Does Drinking Alcohol Increase Your Heart Rate?

Drinking alcohol does increase your heart rate. Studies have shown that the amount of alcohol you consume directly correlates to the increase in heart rate.

The more you drink, the faster your heart beats. There doesn’t appear to be a clear cut-off. Drinking too much can make your heart beat dangerously fast.

How Alcohol Abuse Affects The Risk For Cardiomyopathy

Consuming more than the recommended amount of alcohol doubles your risk of developing a heart condition, including cardiomyopathy.

Cardiomyopathy is rare in the general population. In fact, it only affects 1-2% of people who consume more than the recommended amount of alcohol.

The numbers get much more threatening when you only look at people who are addicted to alcohol. Among those populations, as much as 32% may have cardiomyopathy.

Dangers Of Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a consistent threat to your general health. It actively prevents your heart from delivering enough oxygen-rich blood to your body. It forces your heart to work overtime.

People with cardiomyopathy are likely to experience a constant shortness of breath as well as fatigue and major swelling of the appendages.

When you have cardiomyopathy, your heart cannot pump hard enough to carry out its basic functions. Your risk of stroke, heart attack, and organ failure all increase as a result.

Other Risks And Side Effects Of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse affects every major system in your body. Damage to your heart health is just one side effect, and it doesn’t stop with cardiomyopathy.

Many people who participate in binge drinking on weekends or holidays experience something called atrial fibrillation. It’s also known as “holiday heart syndrome.”

Atrial fibrillation is a temporary arrhythmia or an irregular heart rhythm. This irregular heartbeat may cause you to experience heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

Atrial fibrillation often resolves once your body has recovered, but it’s still dangerous. When your heart is experiencing AFib, you’re more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.

Alcohol-induced health conditions extend to damage to your brain, liver, stomach, pancreas, and any other organ system it comes into contact with.

Treatment Options For Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction is a disease. It is much more than alcohol abuse or dependence. Alcohol addiction requires professional intervention and medical support.

Some of the many treatment options that can help you reach alcohol recovery include:

Find A Rehab Program For Alcohol Abuse Today

Bedrock Recovery Center exists to help people with alcohol addiction just like you. Our fully trained staff will help to monitor and aid you through your withdrawal symptoms to make it as painless as possible.

Once you’ve detoxed, we can set you up with a treatment program that helps you to avoid relapse. We use medications and behavioral therapy together to give you the best chance of starting a new chapter in your life.

Take the first step, and call today.

  1. American College of Cardiology
  2. European College of Cardiology
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information
  4. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  5. National Library of Medicine
  6. National Library of Medicine

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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