Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Binge drinking linked to increased stroke risk

Binge drinking linked to increased stroke risk. It’s well-known that binge drinking is not good for your health and a new study shows it may have an even more pronounced effect on your brain than you thought. In fact, the researchers say that making binge drinking a habit could increase your risk of a stroke.

Binge drinking often occurs at parties or in social settings where people take in large amounts of alcohol at one time. In this study, researchers defined it as consuming six or more alcoholic drinks for men or four or more drinks for women in one session. They looked at almost 16, 000 Finnish men and women age 25 to 64 years. They participated in a risk factor survey and were followed up for 10 years afterward.

In that time there were 249 participants who had a first stroke. The researchers found that while average alcohol consumption did not seem to be associated with the strokes, sessions of binge drinking showed a clear link with the occurrences. The binge drinkers were 1.85 times as likely of having a stroke compared to the non-binge drinkers and 1.99 times as likely when adjusting for the risk of ischemic (clotting) stroke alone.

The researchers concluded that heavy sessions of alcohol consumption might be an independent risk factor for stroke.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation does not recommend that you drink alcohol for the purpose of reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. For those healthy adults who drink alcohol, consumption should not exceed 2 drinks* a day with a weekly limit of 14 drinks for men and 9 drinks for women. Binge drinking should be avoided.

(A standard drink is 341 ml of 5% beer, 142 ml of 12% wine, and 43 ml of 40% spirits.) *
source: On the Pulse News

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