Not all alcohol is bad, drinking in moderation can have heart benefits.
Up to seven drinks a week in early to middle age has been associated with a 20pc cut in the risk for men developing heart failure and a 16pc reduction for women.
Heart failure is where the heart can no longer pump blood around the body as well as it used to.
It is most commonly caused by damage to the heart muscle, for example, during a heart attack.
Drinking to excess, high blood pressure, heart disease, recreational drugs and viral infections can all contribute to heart failure and over 23million people suffer with the condition worldwide.
A new study carried out over 25 years has found that people who drank up to seven drinks a week had the lowest rate of heart failure.
A drink is defined as 14g of alcohol which is equivalent to one small glass of wine (125ml) just over half a pint of beer or one third of a litre of beed and less than one shot of liquor like whiskey or vodka.
Moderation is the key because when the researchers looked at death from any cause, there was an increased risk of death of 47pc for men and 89pc of women who reported consuming 21 or more drinks a week.
These findings suggest that drinking alcohol in moderation does not contribute to an increased risk of heart failure and may even be protective” said Prof Scott Solomon, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
“No level of alcohol intake was associated with a higher risk of heart failure. However, heavy alcohol use is certainly a risk factor for deaths from any cause”, he added
Results of the study are published online in the European Heart Journal.