Unfortunately, many of us far too often underestimate how much alcohol we consume, according to other research. And while drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can come with heart-healthy benefits, unless you follow the guidelines of drinking in moderation—that’s at least one but fewer than 14 drinks per week, you can actually harm your heart. Excessive drinking also increases your risk of motor-vehicle accidents, emotional and family problems, certain cancers, and premature death. A recent study found that men who had more than 14 drinks a week increased their risk of early death by 13 percent; female heavy drinkers had a 7 percent higher risk.
A note to designated drivers: Be sure not exceed the moderate-drinking limit—one for women, two for men—and wait at least an hour, preferably longer, before getting behind the wheel.
Take this 10-question test to find out if you or someone you know might be a problem drinker, and if you’re taking medication, see our list of medicines to not mix with alcohol. Check back later this week for advice on avoiding and "curing" a hangover.
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