Binge Drinking in College Can Lead to Heart Disease Later in Life

Binge Drinking in College Can Lead to Heart Disease Later in Life

May 05, 2013

A study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago finds that frequent binge drinking among college students can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. Researchers looked at two groups of healthy college students: those who had a history of binge drinking and those who abstained from alcohol. Binge drinking was defined as consuming five or more standard size drinks in a two-hour period for males, and four or more drinks in a two-hour period for females. The study found that the binge drinkers had impaired function in the two main cell types that control blood flow. These changes were similar to the impairment found in individuals with a lifetime history of daily heavy alcohol consumption and can be a precursor for developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. "It is important that young adults understand that binge drinking patterns are an extreme form of unhealthy or at-risk drinking and are associated with serious social and medical consequences," said Mariann Piano, PhD, RN, co-author of the study and professor and head of the department of biobehavioral health science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Over half of college students aged 18 to 25 years old engage in binge drinking on a regular basis.

Binge Drinking in College Can Lead to Heart Disease Later in Life
American College of Cardiology
Science Newsline
April 24, 2013

Substance Use