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Your Body: Alcohol consumption linked to heart disease?

iStock/ThinkstockDR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Excessive drinking may lead to an increased risk of heart disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers followed 14 million patients for up to five years and found that those who were characterized as excessive drinkers were at greater risk for three different heart problems: Heart attacks, heart failure and atrial fibrillation.

How do you know if you’re a moderate or excessive drinker? For one thing, if we’re talking about wine, one serving is about 5 ounces but most people pour a larger glass than that.

It’s also important to remember that in medicine we tend to talk about the effects of some behavior on one body part or organ system. But the reality is everything is connected, so taking a global look at your health is always a good idea.

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