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December 2018

Binge Drinking May Spell Heart Trouble for Young Adults

A study recently published in Journal of the American Heart Association found that young adults who regularly engage in binge drinking may be putting their heart health at risk. Binge drinking is having 5 or more drinks in a row for men and 4 or more drinks in a row for women.

Two people clinking glasses of alcohol

The study included about 4,700 young adults from ages 18 to 45. Participants were asked how often they engaged in binge drinking in the past year.

Cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels see boost

The researchers found that men who reported any binge drinking had higher total cholesterol levels and systolic blood pressure than those who didn’t. Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading, which measures pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats.

Women who reported any binge drinking did not have higher blood pressure or total cholesterol, but did have higher blood sugar levels than those who didn’t binge drink.

Drink only in moderation

If you do drink, it’s best for your health to drink only in moderation. For men, that’s no more than 1 to 2 drinks a day, and no more than 1 drink a day for women. Here are some tips on staying within that limit:

  • Track your drinks. Keeping note of how much you drink can help you stay on target.

  • Pace your drinks. Sip each drink slowly and have a glass of water or another nonalcoholic beverage before having another.

Evaluate your own drinking pattern with this quiz from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Online Medical Reviewer: McDonough, Brian, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 8/27/2018
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