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Binge drinking raises risk of heart disease

24th November 2010

A new study has revealed that binge drinkers face a greater risk of heart disease to those who drink moderately.

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The study compared 10,000 drinkers and found that those who drank a lot of alcohol quickly faced greater health risks than those who drank at a more regular pace during the week.

Work carried out by the British Medical Journal focused on male booze bingers in Belfast and moderate drinker in France over 10 years.

The study found that 9% of the middle-aged men in Belfast were binge drinkers, consuming at least three pints of beer or five glasses of wine in one sitting compared with 0.5% of those in France who tended to drink less alcohol in each sitting but drank more regularly.

Binge drinkers had nearly twice the risk of heart attack or death from heart disease.

Amy Thompson, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "This reinforces what we already know - that drinking high levels of alcohol can be harmful to your heart. It's important to avoid binge drinking and it's better to have a small amount of alcohol regularly rather than large amounts in one go."

Professor Jean Ferrières from Toulouse University Hospital, who carried out the research, pointed to the irregular pattern of drinking as the key factor.

The authors also felt that the higher risk of heart disease in Belfast could also be linked to the tendency for more of the men in Northern Ireland to drink beer and spirits as opposed to the wine consumed by the French.

 

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