Does alcohol cause strokes?

Alcohol is DIRECTLY implicated in causing strokes, especially in long term users.

Use of alcohol on a heavy basis, over several years, will cause blood pressure to rise considerably. Cardiac events (and stroke is one) is one of the main causes of death from alcohol.

When a patient is admitted to the hospital for detox from alcohol, bloodwork is usually done. A very typical pattern shows:

  • borderline or above blood glucose levels (type II diabetes) (leading to stroke risk);
  • Very high liver enzymes, indicating the person has a damaged liver, which increases blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Poor nutrition
  • Low levels of platelets, which would lead to hemorrhagic stroke
  • Blood pressure typically rises a great deal during detox from alcohol--if a person comes in with 130/90 b/p, and a pulse of 100, it is not unusual for b/p to rise to 200/100, and pulse to rise to 125 or more. This is WITH drugs given to ameliorate these effects.

If a person is admitted to the hospital after having a stroke, especially if the cause was high b/p plus an irregular heart rhythm such as atrial fibrillation, the patient is STRONGLY cautioned drinking could put him/her at risk for a second, fatal stroke.

Some articles promote alcohol, especially moderate drinking of red wine, as a health boost.

This does the public a great disservice. Moderate means two small glasses of wine per day, which, if one drinks daily, would probably seem like just too little. It provides an excuse to drink excessively. It's taken to heart by the people who need it least.

The people I've met who've lived the longest and healthiest lives, and enjoyed the best health throughout (late 90's, early 100's) rarely drank. They had no religion prohibition against drink, occasionally would have a beer or glass of wine, but tended to get enjoyment from more active participation in family, hobbies, and their work.

People who average more than two drinks a day have a 34 percent higher risk of stroke compared to those whose daily average amounts to less than half a drink. Drinking more than two drinks per day can shorten time to stroke by about five years.

For heavy drinkers, alcohol produces a high risk of stroke in late middle age, starting at age 50. By comparison, light drinkers' or nondrinkers' stroke risk increases gradually with age.

For further information regarding stroke go to this link Stroke | Types | Causes | Symptoms | Risk factors | Diagnosis | Treatments

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