Dreamstime

When drinking becomes a heart health concern

March 19, 2019 - 3:00 am
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KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Moderate alcohol consumption can fight heart disease, but when does alcohol become a problem? 

According to a Wake Forest study based on research from 17,000 adults, drinking seven to 13 drinks per week can increase blood pressure. More than seven drinks a week doubled the risk of hypertension — a blood pressure of 140/90 or higher. 

Heavy drinkers increased the risk two-and-a-half times. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. 

Seven out of every 10 people who experienced their first heart attack had high blood pressure, and eight out of every 10 who experienced their first stroke had high blood pressure. 

Essentially, Wake Forest found that once you hit seven drinks per week, you cross the line where you need to be concerned.