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Heavy Alcohol Consumption May Increase Risk of Stroke and Peripheral Artery Disease

Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems. A new study has found that higher alcohol consumption may increase the risk of stroke and peripheral artery disease.

For their study, the researchers used data from several large-scale consortia and the UK Biobank, which include health data for 500,000 individuals. They used Mendelian randomization to predict the effect of heavy alcohol consumption on eight cardiovascular diseases. Mendelian randomization is a technique that uses genetic variants to evaluate the relationship between a risk factor and a disease.

Heavy alcohol consumption was found to result in a three fold increase in the risk of peripheral artery disease and a 27% increase in the risk of stroke incidence. No association was found between heavy alcohol consumption and heart failure, venous thromboembolism, and aortic valve stenosis.

The study was conducted by researchers from Karolinska Institutet and the University of Cambridge. It was published online ahead of print on May 5, 2020 in the journal Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine.

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