People who binge drink are more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors such as higher blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, a study warns.
Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grammes per cent or above, said researchers at Vanderbilt University in the US.
This typically happens when men consume five or more drinks or women consume four or more drinks in about two hours.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that binge drinking by young men was associated with higher systolic blood pressure – the force on blood vessels when the heart beats.
Frequent binge drinking had additional effects on cholesterol, researchers said.
Both the factors contribute to cardiovascular disease, they said.
Mariann Piano from the Vanderbilt University and her colleagues examined high blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and other cardiovascular risks in 4,710 adults ages 18-45.
Participants were classified as non-drinkers, binge drinkers who had 12 or less episodes a year, and high-frequency binge drinkers (more than 12 episodes a year).
Current evidence suggests that development of high blood pressure before age 45 is associated with significantly higher risks of cardiovascular death later in life.
The study also found differences in how binge drinking affected young men and women.
Young men who reported that they repeatedly binge drink had higher systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol while young women who repeatedly binge drink had higher blood sugar levels compared to non-binge drinkers.