When comparing middle-aged men in France and Ireland, studies found binge drinking to increase heart disease risk nearly 200 percent. Drinking culture in Ireland typically consumes a lot of alcohol on one day of the week, and significantly less throughout the week.
The study was published online in BMJ, lead by Dr. Jean-Bernard Ruidavets of Toulouse University.
While studies have been proven to link many health problems to alcohol, this study wanted to determine the relationship between drinking patterns and health risks.
Although total consumption is similar between men in France and Ireland, men in Ireland usually consume their entire alcohol content in just one day while men in France distribute their consumption throughout the week.
For the study, 9,778 men between the ages of 50 and 59 were analyzed. No instances of heart disease were present at the start of the study.
Men were divided into four separate groups of drinkers: regular, binge, former, and never.
Using interview data and medical records, researchers determined drinking habits of each individual, as well as potential risk factors for other types of cardiovascular disease.
Researchers of this study classified ‘binge drinking’ as the consumption 50g of alcohol or more in a short duration. Based on that, consuming more than four half pints of beer in one day would classify someone as a binge drinker.
Following the study, men were followed for up to 10 years, allowing researchers to assess instances of heart disease in relation to drinking habits.
They found heart disease to be nearly 20 times greater in men from Ireland than those men in France, linked largely to drinking habits.
Researchers found the consumption of wine, regardless of amount, to have less disease risk than other alcohol type.