How Much Alcohol Puts You At Stroke Risk?

A study published by The Lancet cites that an alcoholic drink even a glass a day may increase the risk of stroke. Contrary to previous claims that drinking in moderation is possible prevention for stroke and other vascular conditions. The study says even low levels of alcohol have effects on blood pressure that may lead to stroke. This study draws the same conclusion just like the 2018 research that concluded that there is no safe alcohol level.

The research

Alcoholic Spirits

Alcoholic Drinks

In this new study, it is reported that a single drink or two daily increases stroke risk by 10-15%. A drink is regarded as a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a single shot of spirits. Four drinks a day raises the risk up to 35%. Co-author Zhengming Chen added that moderate drinking had no protective effects towards risks of stroke. The findings correlating heart attack to alcohol consumption were not evident.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Medical Science, Peking University, and Oxford University say that these results were drawn from monitoring 500,000 Chinese people in a period of 10 years. In East Asia, there are other variants of genetic nature that reduce alcohol tolerance in the residents due to extreme flushing reactions after consumption.  These effects, however, do not have an influence on other lifestyle factors like smoking.

Other researchers have agreed with the studies but also pointed out that this study negates claims that moderate intake of alcohol is harmless and concludes that perhaps the proclaimed advantages of alcohol on preventing cardiovascular diseases is baseless.

A professor at Cambridge University, David Spiegelhalter said that the current study made him doubt the previous theories he had taken in. As a professor for public understanding of risk ascertains that he has a lot of doubt in the theory of certain intakes of alcohol may have cardiovascular advantages.

University of Cambridge’s Professor Stephen Burgess addressed the limitations of the research saying that they only sampled a Chinese population and on top of that focused on spirits and no other alcoholic beverages like wine. As much as he criticized the study, he conceded to the suggestion that light or moderate drinking has not been proven effective in protecting against cardiovascular conditions and that any amount of alcohol consumed elevates the risk of stroke.


Drinking alcohol in moderation has been commonly regarded as a cardiovascular measure, a widespread notion that novice populations have over the years followed. The theories have made people who want to drink and be on the safe side invest in controlled drinking.

In the light of new research, it is evident that a drink of alcohol brings you closer to suffering from stroke regardless of the amount.


The Genetics of Alcohol Metabolism: Role of Alcohol Dehydrogenase and Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Variants

Even one alcoholic drink a day can raise the risk of stroke, a study says

Poli, A., et al. “Moderate Alcohol Use and Health: A Consensus Document.” Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, vol. 23, no. 6, 2013, pp. 487–504.

Larsson, Susanna C., et al. “Differing Association of Alcohol Consumption with Different Stroke Types: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” BMC Medicine, vol. 14, no. 1, 2016, p. 178.



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