For patients with high blood pressure, binge drinking may dramatically increase risk of stroke or heart-related death, according to a South Korean study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Source: Binge drinking and hypertension on cardiovascular disease mortality in Korean men and women. A Kangwha Cohort study. Sull JW, Yi SW, Nam CM, et al .Stroke 2010; DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.586347
The study followed more than 6,100 residents, 55 years and older, of an agricultural community in South Korea for almost 21 years.
15% of men were moderate binge drinkers and about 3 percent were heavy binge drinkers. Because less than one percent of the women were reportedly binge drinkers, no conclusions could be made about the combined impact of high blood pressure and binge drinking in women,
Heechoul Ohrr, MD, PhD, senior author of the study and professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, stated that compared to non-drinkers with normal blood pressure, researchers found that the risk of cardiovascular death in men with blood pressure of at least 168 /100 millimeters of mercury was:
three times higher overall, four times higher if they were binge drinkers, consuming six or more drinks on one occasion, and twelve times higher if they were heavy binge drinkers, consuming 12 or more drinks on one occasion.
Hypertension and binge drinking each contribute to cardiovascular disease but have been rarely studied together, researchers said. These findings need to be confirmed in other studies and it’s unclear whether the results can be generalised to other populations.