Findings from a recent population-based study provide new evidence that emphasizes the harmful effects to health of excessive drinking. This study found that people who drink in excess of federal-approved guidelines are more likely to be afflicted with the metabolic syndrome, a series of medical conditions that increases a person’s risks of developing cardiovascular diseases. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Federal dietary guidelines restricts men to two drinks a day and women to one drink per day. Along with binge drinking, anything that goes in excess of these guidelines is considered excessive drinking. Unfortunately, around 58% of all current drinkers in the USA drink outside of the federal guidelines and more than half of the same drinkers have gone binge drinking at least once in the past year, a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed.
Amy Fan M.D., Ph.D. of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and lead author of the study explained that their team followed the same current drinkers to test the association of alcohol drinking patterns to the development of metabolic syndrome. Fan and her team found that the risk for metabolic syndrome was higher with people whose daily consumption of alcohol exceeded the recommended intake by the Dietary Guidelines and with people who engage in one or more binge drinking episode per week.
The study characterized alcohol intake by the measuring the average amount consumed, frequency of drinking, and number of binge drinking. On the other hand, metabolic syndrome was defined as to having three or more of the following predetermined conditions: diabetes, obesity, high triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and low HDL cholesterol level.
Towards more awareness
The authors of the study suggest that their findings adds to the growing literature showing the excessive alcohol consumption per occasion is a major risk factor in both acute and long term alcohol related problems. As such, they call for more prevention and information efforts to forge a reduction of alcohol consumption to a safer level, which is well within the recommended guidelines. “Public health messages should emphasize the potential cardiometabolic risks associated with drinking in excess of national guidelines and binge drinking,” the authors said.
Yet another negative effect of excessive drinking is the tendency to develop an addiction or dependency to the intoxicating substance, which leads to greater problems especially when left untreated. The Miramar Recovery Center in Laguna Beach continually helps addicts and dependents reclaim their health and lives from this damaging substance.