According to the American Medical Association abusing alcohol brings with it many health related issues including hypertension, gastro-intestinal bleeding and notably the most known problem, cirrhosis of the liver. But for both men and women, alcohol can also bring on problems with the heart and arteries, as reported by MSNBC. Heavy drinking, which is defined in the article as more than 21 drinks a week for men, and 14 a week for women, can cause high blood pressure, and stiff arteries in men and enlarged hearts in women. These problems then can spiral into more deadly problems such as strokes or heart attacks. Dr. Azra Mahmud of St. James Hospital believes that the higher risk for heart problems caused by drinking is for women. "Basically, women are not able to cope with high alcohol consumption. It is going directly to the heart and damaging it." The study observed 200 men and women, whose average age was 46, and split them into three different groups; nondrinkers, moderate drinkers, and heavy drinkers. The reason behind the study was to determine whether or not alcohol causes structural changes in the hearts and arteries of people who are already at risk for high blood pressure. The results showed that for heavy drinkers, alcohol accelerates the effects of high blood pressure in men, and brings a very toxic effect to the heart tissue of women. It is important to realize that heart disease is the number one killer around the world. By using addictive substances such as alcohol to increase that risk, people are endangering their lives by a much higher percentage. Addressing your alcohol use at an alcohol and drug recovery center may be an option to explore, especially now, knowing that this option could save your life in more ways than one. For more information about drug and alcohol treatment, please visit The Right Step today!