Studies show since the onset of the pandemic, alcohol-related deaths have climbed by 20%.
On some level, most people have an understanding that binge drinking is not a good thing for their health. Drinking heavily at one time is associated with a number of potentially harmful effects, including both immediate and long-term risks, especially to liver health. With that said, a recent study has been able to demonstrate one specific way in which binge drinking appears to be particularly damaging to the body.
A recent study was performed by a group of researchers from institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge. With a pool of over 300,000 actively drinking adults taking part in the study, things like drinking patterns and habits were analyzed. This was a wide-ranging study that managed to come away with a number of different conclusions, but one interesting finding related back to the behavior of binge drinking.
When an individual reported binge drinking – defined as consuming at least 12 units of alcohol in a day at some point during a week – that person faced a dramatically higher likelihood of alcohol-related cirrhosis. That behavior alone tripled the chances that someone would wind up with poor liver health – specifically, with alcohol-related cirrhosis in the future.
This is an important finding because it indicates that the sheer volume of alcohol consumed over time isn’t necessarily as important as the pattern of drinking. For example, if an individual binge drinks one night a week, while another person drinks the same total amount of alcohol for that week, but it is spread out over six or seven days, the binge drinker will still face a higher risk of cirrhosis.
It’s not only binge drinking that can point to potential problems in the liver. It’s also seen that type-2 diabetes doubled the risk of having issues in this area, and being genetically predisposed to cirrhosis also boosted the danger by roughly four times. Knowing that these other risk factors exist could help people make smarter decisions about their personal risk level and what kind of behavior they will allow themselves to engage in.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol-related deaths have climbed by 20%. That growth in alcohol-related health issues alone is more than enough to cause researchers to look deeper into the issue to see what is going on and what can be changed moving forward. While drinking alcohol is a personal decision, using the right messaging with the public to communicate the risks of such behaviors will go a long way toward impacting public health in a positive manner.
It seems the more that is learned about the impact on alcohol on the human body, the more the news doesn’t look so good. From damage to the liver to a negative impact on many other systems, alcohol does more than its fair share of damage. That’s particularly true in the case of binge drinking, so anyone who is concerned about their overall health in the long run should pay close attention to their drinking habits and adjust them accordingly.