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Delhi Wine Club
Binge drinking may not increase Heart Disease and Mortality

Posted: Tuesday, 07 February 2012 15:42

Binge drinking may not increase Heart Disease and Mortality

Feb 07 : Most studies have found that binge drinking results in a loss of alcohol’s protective effect against ischemic heart disease and results in increases coronary risk among binge drinkers but a recent study on binge drinking in Denmark did not show differences in risk as compared to moderate drinkers, according to a report by International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research .

These results are somewhat different from results of many other epidemiologic studies that have shown increased risk of health problems (even higher risk of coronary disease) to be associated with what was referred to as “binge drinking.”(more than 5 drinks on one occasion).

This study followed 26,786 men and women who participated in the Danish National Cohort Study in 1994, 2000, and 2005 and sought to see if binge drinking increased the risk of Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) or all-cause mortality among “light-to-moderate” drinkers: (up to 21 drinks a week for men and 14 drinks a week for women).  A “drink” was defined as 12g of alcohol.

“Binge drinking” (more that 5 drinks on an occasion) did not show differences in risk of ischemic heart disease (coronary disease) or total mortality than among always moderate drinkers.  These results are somewhat different from results of many other epidemiologic studies that have shown increased risk of health problems (even higher risk of coronary disease) to be associated with what was referred to as “binge drinking.”

Why there were no adverse effects of binge drinking in this study has provoked considerable discussion among members of the Forum. The assessments of alcohol were based on consumption in the week prior to the examination, so data was not available to judge whether or not binge-drinking episodes occurred rarely or regularly. Data was available for smoking, education, physical activity, BMI, and self-reported hypertension and diabetes. 

It is important to note that there was a strong increase in IHD risk and mortality from binge drinking among heavy drinkers, but the authors were comparing outcomes in binge vs. non-binge drinkers among subjects in the “light-to-moderate” categories, and so in all comparisons, the relative risk of IHD and all-cause mortality was higher for non-drinkers than for all other categories of drinkers.

The general consensus of opinion among Forum members is the definition of “binge drinking.”  The rapid consumption of more than 5 drinks on an empty stomach surely has different effects than the consumption of alcohol over several hours with food, such as during a prolonged dinner.  The rate of consumption strongly affects the consequences of alcohol; the speed of drinking and context should constitute part of the definition of ‘bingeing’ and not just the total number of drinks. 

The Forum concludes that “binge drinking,” however defined, is not a healthy pattern of alcohol consumption.  But the circumstances of consumption (rate of consumption, with or without food, etc.) may also be important in its definition and in judging its effects on health.

The Forum does not take the results of this single study to support binge drinking.  What the Danish results suggest is that the occasional “excess” embedded in a moderate consumption pattern is not shown to be harmful in this study.  As recognized in responsible drinking guidelines from Australia, Canada and the US, occasional episodes of consumption greater than the recommended daily levels do not necessarily change the classification of a normally moderate drinker into that of an abuser.

Full critique

For more information contact:
Helena Conibear Co- Director
The International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research or visit

DelWine recommends moderate consumption of wine regularly- 2-3 glasses a day (125 mL) with 12.5% alcohol and 1-2 glasses for women, preferably red and preferably of fine quality. Life is too short to waste on cheap plonk. Also please adjust accordingly lower for higher alcohol or bigger glass size.-editor



Siyamalan Says:

I don't understand what's the special stuff Red has compared to white.. All the resveratrol benefits are technically unproven One may need to drink a minimum 120 bottles of red to get any minimum benefits of resveratrol. Both red and white does the same to heart. Moderate alcohol consumption reduces LDL. I guess Grenache has more flavonoids than any other red wine White wines might have slightly lesser total antioxidant, but is more effective in reducing LDL. Considering the superoxide-scavenging property, white is as effective as Red. Both give similar antioxidant retaining ability to blood. No one consumes /will consume wine for booze and that is why drinking wine is beneficial to health. Drink what you like.. White or Red. Siyamalan Comment in response to "preferably red"

Posted @ February 08, 2012 12:50


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