"Regular binge drinking is one of the most serious public health problems confronting our college campuses, and drinking on college campuses has become more pervasive and destructive," said Shane A. Phillips, PT, PhD, senior author and associate professor and associate head of physical therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "Binge drinking is neurotoxic and our data support that there may be serious cardiovascular consequences in young adults."
College students age 18 to 25 years old have the highest rates of binge drinking episodes, with more than half engaging in binge drinking on a regular basis. Prior studies have found that binge drinking among adults age 40 to 60 years old is associated with an increase in risk for stroke, sudden cardiac death and heart attack, but the effect on younger adults has not been studied.
Researchers looked at two groups of healthy nonsmoking 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 (12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80 proof spirits or 8-9 ounces of malt liquor) in a two-hour period for males and four or more standard size drinks in a two-hour period for females. On average, the students who binge drink had six such episodes each month over four years. Abstainers were defined as having consumed no more than five drinks in the prior year.
Students were also questioned about their medical history, diet, history of family alcohol abuse and frequency of binge drinking.
The study found that the binge drinkers had impaired function in the two main cell types (endothelium and smooth muscle) that control blood flow. These vascular changes were equivalent to impairment found in individuals with a lifetime history of daily heavy alcohol consumption and can be a precursor for developing atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, and other cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.
Binge drinkers were not found to have increased blood pressure or cholesterol, which are well-established risk factors for heart disease; however, both high blood pressure and cholesterol cause changes in vascular function similar to what the students demonstrated.
"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," 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, said. "Discoveries and advances in many different areas of medical science have cautioned against the notion that youth protects against the adverse effects of bad lifestyle behaviors or choices."
According to the investigators, more research is needed to determine if damage caused by binge drinking in young adulthood can be reversed before the onset of cardiovascular disease and to determine the timeframe for onset of disease.
Visit http://www.CardioSmart.org for more information on the harmful effects of heavy alcohol use on heart health or for information on teen alcohol abuse.Visit the American College of Cardiology YouTube channel for a video on how alcohol affects heart health.
Nicole Napoli | EurekAlert!
Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School
Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy