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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Binge Drinking Linked to Heart Attack and Stroke

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines “binge drinking” for men as having five drinks and for women as having four drinks over a 2 hour period of time. This drinking behavior has long been associated with a number of risks, such as alcohol poisoning and risky decision making. Binge drinking is most commonly associated with teenagers and young adults, but many older adults engage in the practice. What’s more, there is still a lot that scientists do not understand about the potential risks of binge drinking.

A new study has found that people who practice binge drinking have a heightened risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke within the next 7 days, Reuters reports. The findings come from an analysis of 23 studies with a total of almost 30,000 participants. The research was published in the journal Circulation.

“There appears to be a transiently higher risk of heart attack and strokes in the hours after drinking an alcoholic beverage but within a day after drinking, only heavy alcohol intake seems to pose a higher cardiovascular risk,” said lead researcher, Elizabeth Mostofsky, Sc.D. of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a news release.

People who consumed six to nine drinks were found to have a 30 percent higher risk of cardiovascular episodes the next day, according to the article. The researchers point out that heavy alcohol consumption was associated with a greater risk of:
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Strokes
  • Fatal Heart Attack
"Heavy alcohol consumption must always be avoided, not only for the risk of cardiovascular disease, but also because it causes acute injury to the liver and to the central nervous system," said Giuseppe Lippi, a researcher at the University of Verona in Italy who wasn't involved in the study.

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