A Glass Of Wine Could Be Just What the Doctor Ordered for Elderly Heart Failure Patients

Red wine being poured into a stem glass at the table.

There have been many studies over the years that suggest drinking red wine every day could be good for your heart.  Of course, that does not suggest you should get drunk every day, but a glass or two might actually pose some benefits.  Well, a new study goes a little further:  a single glass of wine or a half a pint of beer could actually help you live a little longer if you are over the age of 65. 

Yes, this study says that those who are over the age of 65 who partake in moderate drinking appear—and have received a heart failure diagnosis—tend to live a year longer than those who give up the sauce entirely after receiving the same diagnosis.  

Heart failure, of course, is a long-term condition that is quite common among elderly patients.  This diagnosis describes that the heart has become too weak or too stiff to properly and effectively pump blood. This condition can—and often is—triggered by heart attack, but other chronic conditions like kidney disease or diabetes can result in heart failure diagnosis as well.  

Of course, cardiologists now advise that these findings are observational.  That means everyone should exercise caution that they have not necessarily proven a causative link between small servings of alcohol and increased mortality. 

For example, senior study author David Brown comments, that existing studies continue to prove that excessive drinking is toxic and can contribute to eventual heart failure.  However, the Washington University School of Medicine Professor of Medicine, goes on to say, “we have data showing that heathy people who drink moderately seem to have some protection from heart failure over the long term, compared with people who don’t drink at all.”

Until now, though, he attests that there was very little data—if any at all—that could better assist doctors in advising elderly patients who drink moderately but have recently received a heart failure diagnosis.  

More specifically, Prof Brown concludes that this study indicates a certain “survival benefit” for moderate drinkers when compared against those heart failure patients who stopped drinking after receiving their diagnosis. 

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