Binge drinking rates are at an all-time high and now a new study shows yet another scary side effect: cardiovascular risk factors, according to research by Mariann Piano, senior associate dean of research at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.
Piano and her co-authors examined high blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and other cardiovascular risks in 4,710 adults ages 18-45. Participants were classified as the following:
- Binge drinkers 12 times or less a year
- High-frequency binge drinkers (more than 12 times a year)
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men — in about two hours.
Piano found that young men who binge drank frequently had higher systolic blood pressure and cholesterol — both factors in cardiovascular disease.
“The risk extends beyond poor school performance and increased risk for accidental injury,” said Piano, PhD, FAAN, the Nancy and Hilliard Travis Professor at Vanderbilt, in the report. And the pervasiveness, regularity and intensity of binge drinking may place today’s youth at even greater risk for these cardiovascular effects.
More Reasons Not to Binge Drink
Past studies have showed that frequent binge drinking can also cause damage to the liver and other organs. In addition to these health consequences, binge drinking can increase a person’s risk of the following:
- Car crashes
- Drunk-driving arrests
- Sexual assaults and unsafe sex
- Suicide attempts
Gender Specific Program
At Spearhead Lodge, we understand that young men face specific issues when it comes to addiction and addiction treatment. Our gender specific environment allows for men to be vulnerable with their peers form a community to learn from and rely on each other. To learn more, call 866-905-4550.