Drinking moderate amount of wine has been linked to various health benefits. Recently we discussed about a study that demonstrated wine makes you smarter, when consumed in moderate amount. Moderate amount of consumption is the key. If wine is consumed in high amounts it can be a disaster for your body. A Korean study found that binge drinking can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases many folds in men already suffering hypertension.
Binge drinking, for U.S. men, is defined as having five or more drinks in a row; in women, as having four or more drinks in a row. Studies have shown that more than 35 percent of adults with an alcohol problem developed symptoms such as binge drinking by age 19. Long-term use risks liver damage, pancreatitis, certain cancers, and literal shrinkage of the brain, as stated by US Department of Health and Human Services.
About the Study
Dr. Heechoul Ohrr, a professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul led the study. The study included more than 6,100 residents of an agricultural community in South Korea for 21 years. The participants were divided into four groups: nondrinkers, non-binge drinkers, moderate binge drinkers (defined as having six or more drinks on one occasion), and heavy binge drinkers (defined as having 12 or more drinks on one occasion).
- The risk of stroke among men with high blood pressure was increased threefold compared with nondrinkers.
- Men who drank six or more drinks at one time, their risk for stroke increased fourfold
- Men who drank 12 drinks or more, the risk rose 12-fold
Dr. Ohrr said that the pattern of drinking, such as heavy binge drinking, does matter, not total volume of alcohol per week in terms of risk of stroke mortality.
The report is published in the Aug. 19 online edition of Stroke.
style="text-align: justify;">The American Heart Association advises not to drink more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. A drink is one 12-ounce beer, one 4-ounce glass of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits or one ounce of 100-proof spirits, the association said.
The study may have some limitations as it lacked the data about former drinkers,
- what type of hypertensive medications being used during the study,
- smoking pattern as it can be another risk factor for increasing cardiovascular diseases and
- small sample size as compared to other comparative studies
Hope further studies may bring substantial evidence of binge drinking and the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. In any event drinking is safe when consumed in a limited amount. If you or a friend have been drinking excessively for some time, you may consider entering an alcohol detoxification program to prevent alcohol from taking a toll on your health. Hope you will watch your drinks next time when hang out with your friends as prevention is better than cure.