Some wine on Friday, a cocktail on Saturday, and a few game-day brews on Sunday could add up to some damage if you do it all in excess. A Finnish study showed that binge drinking was associated with increased atherosclerotic progression over an 11-year follow-up of middle aged men. The study focused on men who drank 6 drink or more on one occasion—that’s quite a blurry night.
The weirder thing: the risk of stroke increased among men who had at least one hangover per year. We shudder to think about all those headachy, dehydrated Sunday mornings. That risk multiplies if you’re overweight or have hypertension.
The subjects of the study were population based, a sample of more than 2,600 men who live in Finland and participating in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD). The researchers followed up with the subjects over a period of 11 to 20 years. Alcohol consumption was assessed using the Nordic alcohol consumption inventory, and incident strokes were ascertained through the FINMONICA stroke register, which is the Finnish part of the WHO MONICA (Multinational Monitoring of Trends and determinants in Cardiovascular Diseases), and from the Finnish national hospital discharge register and death certificate registers.
While moderate booze consumption has been linked to lower risk of stroke, excessive drinking could do you no favors. Try to keep your Saturday night and game day intake to 3 or fewer drinks. If the room’s spinning, odds are you’ve had more than enough.