Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke

Some studies have reported that alcohol consumption is related to both protective and harmful effects on cardiovascular health, depending on the level of consumption and other factors. According to National Institutes of Health, “drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart…” 1

The Surgeon General’s Report further elaborates on some specific cardiovascular problems: “Studies have shown alcohol misuse use can lead to cardiovascular problems including heart muscle injury, irregular heartbeat, stroke, and high blood pressure.” 2

There has also been research that has found cardiovascular benefit related to moderate alcohol consumption.  The American Heart Association states: Some studies have shown that those who drink moderate amounts of alcohol have lower rates of heart disease than nondrinkers. But drinking alcohol every day to excess can lead to serious cardiovascular disease risks including high blood pressure, obesity and stroke.”3



  1. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2021). Alcohol’s Effects on Health: Alcohol’s Effects on the Body. Retrieved October 4, 2023 from
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Surgeon General, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. Washington, DC: HHS, November 2016.
  3. American Heart Association. (2019). Is drinking alcohol part of a healthy lifestyle? Retrieved April 17, 2024 from