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Drinks Change Heart Structure

Cocktails
Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

It’s important to remember that alcohol is an indulgence, and a new study confirms that. Harvard Medical School researchers surveyed 4,466 people with an average age of 76 who also underwent heart scans. They discovered when men drank more than two drinks per day, and when women drank just more than one drink a day, they actually experienced changes in the structure of their hearts.

It’s no joking matter. The left ventricle of the heart became enlarged, suggesting the organ was working in overdrive. Over time this extra work could cause cardiomyopathy, which is when the heart muscle becomes thick and rigid, or replaced by scar tissue.

Study leader Scott Solomon tells Time more research will need to be done to determine if genetic factors increase this risk in certain people, but that, “What is clear is that at more than two drinks a day is the point at which we start to think we are beyond the safe level for men, and with women, it’s likely to be even lower than that.”

Be careful drinking alcohol and just keep in mind that this study pinpoints how many alcoholic drinks you’re safe having per day. In some cases, ten drinks isn’t enough and one is way too many!

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