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Moderate drinking has been found to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, however, regular, heavy alcohol consumption was found to have the opposite effect.

A new study showed that people who occasionally binge drink may have a heightened long-term risk of suffering a stroke and that even those who did not regularly drink were heavily affected.

The relationship between sporadic binge-drinking and stroke risk is still unclear though.

In the their study, Finnish researchers followed around 16,000 adults for a decade. In the questionnaire they had to take, those people who reported occasional binge drinking were more likely to suffer a first-time stroke than non-bingers — no matter what their overall drinking patterns were.

Compared to those people who reported never binge drinking, those who did were 56 % more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke (caused by a blood clot) in a 10-years time.

Binge-drinking was also linked to 39 % higher risk of suffering any type of stroke.

Previous researches have found a link between binge-drinking and a higher risk of fatal heart disease, no matter what a person's average alcohol intake was. The new findings indicate that it may have a similar effect on elevating stroke risk.

The Finnish research showed that binge-drinkers were at increased risk of stroke no matter whether they were generally heavy drinkers and the effect of other risk factors such as older age, smoking and high blood pressure.

Although it is not entirely clear why binge-drinking itself raises stroke risk, the researchers believe that it is due to the short-term effects of large doses of alcohol on cardiovascular system such as high blood pressure, increased blood clotting and heart-rhythm disturbances.


This is timely and solid advice for college students and party-goers as the Christmas holiday approaches.