Binge drinking isn’t good for anyone, but it may be even more dangerous if you have high blood pressure. According to a study published in the journal Stroke, people with hypertension who binge drink have a significantly higher risk of dying of stroke or heart disease.
What is Considered Binge Drinking in Adults?
There’s a great deal of confusion as to what binge drinking actually is. Binge drinking is when a man drinks five or more drinks in a row, or a woman drinks four or more over a several hour period.
Binge drinking in adults can have serious short-term and long-term health consequences – and can even lead to alcohol poisoning. Despite the health risks, most binge drinkers are unaware of the risks of the dangers of this type of drinking pattern.
The Disturbing Physical Effects of Binge Drinking
As if binge drinking isn’t already bad enough, men and women who have high blood pressure and binge drink may be increasing their risk of heart disease – dramatically.
A study looking at over 6,000 older Korean men found men who binge drank with high blood pressure tripled their risk of heart disease. If they were heavy binge drinkers (12 or more drinks over several hours), their risk for heart disease rose by a whopping twelve times!
What about women? There were so few female binge drinkers in this study, that no conclusions could be drawn about women and binge drinking.
Binge Drinking in Adults: Alcohol in Moderation May Be Heart-Friendly
Binge drinking is unhealthy not only from a heart standpoint, but it’s hard on the liver – and can even damage brain cells.
On the other hand, men who drink alcohol in moderation (no more than two drinks per day and one drink per day for women), may lower their risk of heart disease by increasing their HDL cholesterol levels.
Ingredients in red wine also help to keep platelets from clumping together which can lead to a blood clot, heart attack, or stroke. The benefits aren’t as clear in women since alcohol also increases the risk of breast cancer.
Binge Drinking and Blood Pressure: The Bottom Line?
Don’t engage in binge drinking, particularly if you have high blood pressure. It’s a quick path to a heart attack. On the other hand, men who drink two drinks or less per day may boost their heart health. Alcohol may have benefits, but only in moderation.
Eurekalert website. “Binge drinking increases death risk in men with high blood pressure”