Researchers have found an association between alcohol, heart health and a gene known as titin. According to a study published recently in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, faulty variations of titin could react with alcohol to induce rapid heart failure in patients who carry the gene, even if they consume alcohol in moderation.
“Our research strongly suggests alcohol and genetics are interacting — and genetic predisposition and alcohol consumption can act together to lead to heart failure,” said study co-author James Ware from the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) at the Imperial College London. Experts say titin is essential to maintain the elasticity of the heart muscle, while faulty versions of the gene are associated with a type of heart condition called alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM), in which excess alcohol in the system causes dilation and impairment of the left ventricle, rendering it weak and reducing its ability to pump blood.
According to the researchers, one in 100 people in the U.K. carries faulty versions of titin. The study team derived the findings after examining 141 patients with ACM that may have been triggered due to consumption of over 70 units of alcohol each week for five years or more. In the case of chronic patients, the condition may turn out to be fatal or raise the alarm for a heart transplant.
The researchers concluded that 13.5 percent of the participants carried the faulty gene that could have led to their present condition. The study also found that the proportion of participants carrying the mutation was higher than those carrying the gene in the general population. According to Ware, family members of the patients with ACM should opt for mandatory assessment and cardio scans and even genetic scans to ascertain if they too unknowingly carry the faulty gene.
In the second phase of the study, the scientists studied if alcohol could cause a kind of heart failure called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). After observing 716 participants with DCM, the team found that despite not drinking excessively, they still battled the condition that affected the pumping capacity of their heart. Dr. Paul Barton, study’s co-author from the NHLI at Imperial, said that they would need to conduct further researches to determine how alcohol might affect people carrying the faulty titin gene, and yet don’t suffer from heart problems.
Alcohol addiction is treatable
Apart from visible signs of heavy drinking – stumbling walk, slurred words and memory lapses – people suffering alcoholism have a significant trouble with judgment, coordination and balance. Alcoholism is a chronic disease, which causes serious health problems and damage to emotional stability, finances, career and relationships. It’s not easy to keep a track as to when the drinking habit acquires the shape of a problem. But if you regularly turn to alcohol, even in smaller quantities, to cope with stressful life conditions, it could do more harm than good.
Like other addictive substances, alcohol can also make an individual addicted to it over a period. It’s important to reconsider drinking habit and seek help from a reputed rehab center as soon as possible. A rehab can provide the critical help you need when it seems that alcohol has taken over your life or the life of someone close to you. Sovereign Health is a much sought-after treatment center for alcohol addiction in all major locations in the country. Whether you are looking for alcohol detox centers in California or at a place closer home, call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-682-0103 for immediate assistance. Our alcohol detox clinics in California are among the best in the country.