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Eur J Heart Fail. 2009 May;11(5):453-62. doi: 10.1093/eurjhf/hfp037. Epub 2009 Mar 30.

Alcohol abuse and heart failure.

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  • 1Department of Medical and Occupational Sciences, Institute of Internal Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.


Alcoholic patients who consume >90 g of alcohol a day for >5 years are at risk of developing asymptomatic alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM). Those patients who continue to drink may become symptomatic and develop signs and symptoms of heart failure (HF). This distinct form of congestive HF is responsible for 21-36% of all cases of non-ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy in Western Society. Without complete abstinence, the 4 year mortality for ACM is close to 50%. This short review summarizes the experimental and clinical evidence regarding the role of alcohol in the pathophysiology of ACM and HF.

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