Upward of three glasses of alcohol a day has a negative impact on the heart; the risk of high blood pressure and consequently a heart attack increases. Alcohol can also lead to heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias as the heart muscle no longer able to contract or relax properly. The risk of brain haemorrhages and stroke likewise increases with prolonged alcohol abuse.
Moderate alcohol usage (maximum one to two glasses per day) has a protective effect on the heart and blood vessels. It can somewhat prevent clogging of the blood vessels by cholesterol. It does not matter whether you drink wine or any other alcoholic beverage. However, this beneficial effect only applies to healthy men over 40 and healthy women after menopause. Because of other negative health effects and the risk of addiction, alcohol has no medicinal value. Exercise, healthy eating and not smoking are better ways to prevent cardiovascular disease.