High blood pressure, arrhythmias, shortness of breath, some types of cardiac failure, haemorrhagic stroke and other circulatory problems.
Alcohol is carcinogenic to humans, being causally related to cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colorectum and female breast.
The relationship between alcohol consumption, insulin sensitivity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus is not clear. However, alcohol affects the management of diabetes in a number of ways.
Alcohol consumption is linked to malnutrition, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, folate deficiency, Vitamin A depletion and pellagra.
Overweight and obesity
Alcohol adds kilojoules to the normal diet and may increase energy intake and fat storage further by increasing appetite and displacing fat and carbohydrate oxidation.
Risks to unborn babies
Alcohol enters the bloodstream of the fetus when the mother drinks and can cause a range of birth defects and growth and developmental problems, comprising Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which may persist into adulthood. Alcohol also enters the breast milk.
Alcohol consumption is the most common cause of cirrhosis of the liver, and drinking alcohol over many years can cause cirrhosis in the absence of other causes.
Mental health conditions
There is growing evidence that alcohol increases the risk of highly prevalent mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety in some people, and may affect the efficacy of antidepressant medication.
The immediate effects of alcohol on the brain are often less apparent in people who drink regularly, as they acquire a degree of tolerance. Despite this tolerance, the long-term effects remain damaging, particularly as the drinkers who have greater tolerance for alcohol are likely to be those who experience higher blood alcohol levels more frequently.
Alcohol is an addictive drug and regular use can result in alcohol dependence.
Long-term cognitive impairment
Drinkers who consume alcohol at harmful levels exhibit negative structural and metabolic brain changes, and have an increased risk of dementia.
Harmful drinking is a major risk factor for suicide and suicidal behaviour in both males and females across the lifespan.