How does alcohol consumption affect overall health?

There is increasing evidence that moderate alcohol consumption may bring some health benefits, but it is far clearer that alcohol misuse is linked to a host of medical problems including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and cirrhosis, as well as oral, gastrointestinal and breast cancer. As a result, it is still considered one of the leading causes of preventable death.
Drinking alcohol can cause many health problems, including these:
  • Over time, heavy drinking can damage your heart and raise your blood pressure.
  • Alcohol can keep your blood pressure medication from working well.
  • Calories in alcohol can cause weight gain, which is another high blood pressure risk factor.
This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Alcohol & Health

Binge Drinking in America Is a Serious Public Health Issue—Here’s Why
Binge Drinking in America Is a Serious Public Health Issue—Here’s Why
Binge drinking is the most expensive, most common and most deadly type of extreme alcohol use in the United States, according to the Centers for Disea...
Read More
What is the effect of alcohol on men’s health?
Ronald Tamler, MDRonald Tamler, MD
Although a moderate amount of alcohol, such as a glass of red wine a day, may offer health benefits,...
More Answers
What happened to 4 Loco caffeinated alcohol drinks?
Arthur W. Perry, MDArthur W. Perry, MD
In November 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked the companies manufacturing 4 Loco to...
More Answers
Does Your Face Flush After Drinking Alcohol?
Does Your Face Flush After Drinking Alcohol?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.