Binge drinking can double risk of heart disease, study claims
Published 25/11/2010 | 05:00
BINGE drinkers could have a higher risk of heart disease, new research suggests.
Downing lots of alcohol in just one or two sittings has a worse effect than drinking more steadily over the course of a week, according to a study.
Experts compared the drinking habits of almost 10,000 men in France and Belfast and found the overall amount of alcohol they consumed in a week was the same.
However, those in Belfast were far more likely to be binge drinkers than men in France.
Only half of drinkers in Belfast were regular drinkers compared with most drinkers in France.
Some 9pc of men in Belfast were binge drinkers, mostly on a weekend, compared with just 0.5pc of those in France.
Meanwhile, 75pc of French men drank daily compared with 12pc in Belfast.
When studying the chance of heart attack and death from heart disease, the authors found that binge drinking doubled the risk in comparison to regular drinking.
Binge drinking is defined as consuming at least 50g of alcohol on at least one day per week.
Meanwhile, regular drinking is drinking alcohol on at least one day a week.
The authors, writing in the 'British Medical Journal' said: "Consuming a high quantity of alcohol on each drinking occasion . . . was particularly prevalent in Belfast and . . . could add to the risk of heart disease."