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New Alcoholism Stroke Risks

We all know that alcoholism can have devastating effects on the liver, but were you also aware that regular drinking can greatly increase the chances of a stroke? According to CNN, that is a very real risk for those who consume alcohol on a daily basis.

Per research from The Lancet Journal, one to two drinks a day increased stroke risks by as much as 15 percent. And if you were to have four drinks a day, that number would shoot up to 35 percent. This could include everything from beer, to wine, to a single measure of spirits.

Interestingly, the study involved researchers from both the UK and China. Several scientists from Peking University spent over 10 years looking into these trends, following 500,000 Chinese citizens for a decade.

“There are no protective effects of moderate alcohol intake against stroke,” study co-author Zhengming Chen explained in a press release. “Even moderate alcohol consumption increases the chances of having a stroke. The findings for heart attack were less clear-cut, so we plan to collect more evidence.”

The British contributors also supported the data, emphasizing that this contradicts earlier reports that moderate drinking may be beneficial for the body.

“Although it has previously been suggested moderate alcohol intake may reduce risk of stroke or heart disease, this new study adds to recent evidence that finds no protective effect even at low levels of intake,” University of Sheffield professor Tim Chico added. “Sadly the hope that alcohol somehow protects against cardiovascular disease is probably unfounded.”

For the record, the Chinese research focused on spirits and mixed drink consumption; barely exploring the effects of wine. Though some have called that out, the fact of the matter is that beverages containing alcohol do correlate with serious health risks.

And (as if we needed to be reminded) strokes can wreak havoc on an individual and their family. Common side effects include partial paralysis, loss of brain functions and, in the worst case scenario, premature death.

They also occur more frequently in older Americans, so there is a very real risk of debilitating incidents for seniors who consume alcohol regularly. And let’s face it, if you are drinking two glasses a day or more it might be time for a self-evaluation.

Sadly, alcoholism is an addiction that can creep up slowly; often affecting people before they even realize it. If you or someone you are close to is battling a daily drinking problem, please reach out before any major health crises occur.