Want a healthier heart Gray County? Then, cut down on the alcohol. Doctor Explains

Cover Image: Want a healthier heart Gray County? Then, cut down on the alcohol. Doctor Explains

In this article, Dr. Adriana Davis, DO, Family Medicine, shares her expert insights into the findings and provides Kansas residents with evidence-based recommendations for protecting their health.

Why This Matters to You: Research is showing that even modest reductions in alcohol intake could have substantial heart health benefits for heavy drinkers living in communities like Gray County, and across Kansas.

What This Means for Your Health: If you are a heavy drinker, reducing your alcohol consumption, even by a moderate amount, may significantly lower your risk of experiencing a major cardiovascular event. The study found that people who cut back on drinking had the biggest drops in their risk for two specific heart problems: chest pain that needs medical treatment (called angina) and strokes caused by blood clots (known as ischemic strokes).

Did you know that 1 in 10 Americans, aged 12 years and older, have an Alcohol Use Disorder? (NIH)

Doctors' Expert Insights about the benefits of reducing alcohol consumption and improving your heart health in Gray County, Kansas

"This research provides crucial evidence that decreasing alcohol use can directly improve cardiovascular health, especially for individuals consuming excessive amounts," said Dr. Puja Uppal, a family medicine doctor. "It's crucial that Gray County residents reduce the amount of alcohol being consumed--because the benefits that come from this are tremendous!"

"So, the ultimate goal should be to cut back as much as possible," guides Dr. Adriana Davis, a family medicine physician.

Dr. Davis advises heavy drinkers to gradually reduce their alcohol intake to protect their heart health, emphasizing that even small, sustainable changes can significantly lower cardiovascular risk factors over time. "The research shows that no amount of alcohol is actually good for your body.

However, Dr. Davis also stresses that communities like Gray County need better access to comprehensive alcohol treatment programs that combine medical care, behavioral counseling, and social support. "Helping heavy drinkers safely reduce their consumption or quit entirely requires a multifaceted approach and support from family, friends, and healthcare professionals," she noted.

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Local Impact: For Wayne County resident, Robles Merlo, 55, the study offers both a warning and encouragement. "I've been a heavy drinker for years, but recently I started having chest pains that really scared the mess out of me," he said. "Knowing that I can improve my heart health and potentially avoid a serious problem by drinking less is really motivating. It won't be easy, but I'm committed to making a change for myself and my family."

Key Drivers:

The sustained heavy drinking group experienced a significantly higher incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events than the reduced drinking group (817 vs 675 per 100,000 person-years).

Reduced alcohol consumption was associated with a 23% lower risk of major adverse cardiovascular events compared with sustained heavy drinking.

Next Steps: You should know that decreasing alcohol use also lowers other cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even diabetes! As Dr. Davis emphasized, "The study clearly shows that when it comes to heavy drinking and heart health, cutting back is critical."

Resource: Please start the conversation with your healthcare team about how to improve your heart health.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): Offers information on treatment options, tips for cutting down or quitting, and resources for finding help. Visit Resource Here

Takeaway: For heavy drinkers in Gray County, reducing alcohol consumption, even moderately, can be a key step toward a healthier heart and longer life.

Read More: Quercetin in Red Wine Linked to Headaches.

Read the Study at JAMA Network Open. (Click Here)

The Health Standard Newswire.