EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD)–The holidays often showcase opportunities to overindulge in alcohol consumption, but it’s important to moderate how much alcohol you are drinking to maintain good heart health.

According to the American College of Cardiology, eliminating alcohol abuse would result in over 34,000 fewer heart attacks, 73,000 fewer atrial fibrillation cases, and 91,000 fewer patients with congestive heart failure.

“When the electricity of your heart is excited exponentially too high, that’s what causes Arrhythmia. Repeated arrhythmias also dilate the heart. It’s a snowball effect,” explains Julie Wylie, an Adult Nurse Practitioner at the Medical Center of South Arkansas.

Heavy drinking and binge drinking can lead to ongoing high blood pressure, increased irregular heart rate, and weakened heart muscles.

If you are having trouble putting down excessive amounts of alcohol, Wylie recommends taking one step at a time.

“Cut it in half, start with that, and try to decrease it on a daily basis,” added Wylie.