The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Occasional alcohol crash is dangerous after a heart attack

Binge drinking or two beers a day: according to a Geneva study, drinking behavior in the year following a heart attack plays a major role in the likelihood of another heart attack. Binge drinking, i.e. the occasional crash, is significantly more harmful than moderate and regular alcohol consumption.

Even if alcohol is consumed excessively less than once a month, the probability of a further heart attack doubles, according to the study in the "European Journal of Preventive Cardiology". The University Hospital of Geneva and the University of Geneva announced on Monday that it is not the frequency but the amount of alcohol consumed in an evening that is decisive for the course of the disease after a heart attack.

According to the researchers, this finding is important because recommendations on alcohol consumption after a heart attack were previously unknown.

In order to investigate the relationship between alcohol consumption and the course of the disease in patients with a heart attack, the researchers analyzed data from over 6500 patients in Switzerland over a period of twelve months after their heart attack.

Five drinking profiles

They compared five different drinking profiles: Excessive alcohol consumption (more than 14 glasses per week), moderate consumption (7-14 glasses per week), low consumption (less than one glass per week), abstinence (no alcohol at all), and binge drinking, which is episodic excessive consumption, defined as six or more glasses, on one occasion.

While the risk of a further heart attack in people with excessive or moderate consumption did not differ significantly from people with low consumption or abstinence, people who fell into the binge-drinking category suffered further heart attacks significantly more often.

©Keystone/SDA

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