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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Immediate and long-term stroke risk connected to alcohol use


Stroke disables more people in the United States than breast cancer and is a leading cause of long-term disability. Evidence-based studies prove a connection between alcohol use, stroke onset and slower recovery from a stroke. (View the whole article and share the YouTube video)
Ninety percent of strokes are ischemic, where a blood clot halts the flow of blood to the brain. The University of California San Francisco notes the one in five strokes may be alcohol-related. That's 160,000 alcohol-related strokes every year, and 26,000 alcohol-related stroke deaths annually. That toll is more than two times the number of people killed each year in alcohol-involved traffic crashes.
Alcohol use is a risk factor for stroke because booze increases the progression of atherosclerosis, which is doctorspeak for a hardening of the arteries. The risk sharpens for those who have one binge weekly, or at least one hangover a year. That's from the UCSF study.
A separate study in the journal Stroke in Jan. 2015 found that 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. By age 75, high blood pressure and diabetes are the leading stroke risk factors, but for men and women younger than 75, how they use alcohol increases stroke risk just as much as those other two conditions. In fact, Midlife heavy drinkers were likely to have a stroke five years earlier in life, regardless of genetic and lifestyle factors. Not coincidentally, either: Earlier Sobriety :60+ episodes point out prediabetes and type 2 diabetes (see episode 6) and high blood pressure (see episode) also are caused by alcohol use.
The stroke risk in those two studies, of course, is long term, but there's immediate danger as well. According to a 2010 Canadian study, one drink instantly doubles stroke risk. Two hours following that drink, the stroke risk remains 1.6 times higher than someone who isn't drinking. The stroke danger alone is reason enough to consider that sobriety is a better thing to have than to lack.

Visit alcohologist.com for a replay of CBS Sports' Power Up Your Health featuring Scott Stevens.  Host Ed Forteau led a discussion on risky myths of about "healthy" drinking.  Lucy Pireel's "All That's Written" included a feature on Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud called "When alcohol doesn't work for you anymore."  Details on the third literary award for Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud also can be found on www.alcohologist.com, plus the NEW book, Adding Fire to the Fuel, is now available. Download the FREE Alcohology app in the Google PlayStore today.