Though the health repercussions and costs of binge drinking have been known for years, researchers are just now coming to grips with how the practice can affect the human body. A new study has now revealed that binge drinking, even relatively rarely, can have serious health consequences.
The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, showed that middle-aged men who binge drink were observed to have increased atherosclerotic progression. Atherosclerosis is a vascular disease in which artery wall thicken with fatty material such as cholesterol. The condition has been linked to both heart attacks and strokes. BInge drinking in the study was defined as having six or more drinks on one occasion.
In addition, the study found that men who had had at least one hangover per year were at a greater risk of stroke. The increased risk seen was not dependent on the total amount of alcohol the men had drank. On top of this, men with hypertension or who were overweight increased their risk of stroke even more by drinking.
The study was a follow-up to the FinDrink study, which looked at 2,600 men from eastern Finland. The men participated in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study for between 11 and 20 years. The men's alcohol consumption was reviewed using the Nordic alcohol consumption inventory, while Finnish and World Health Organization records were used to establish stroke and death data.