Weekend drinking is more lethal than daily downing

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

LONDON - There is bad news for exclusive weekend drinkers - they could be harming themselves more than what daily drinkers get.

Researchers at Toulouse University in France compared the drinking habits of middle-aged men in three towns in France with that in Belfast in Northern Ireland.

The Frenchmen drank much more overall, about 30 units a week, but the Ulstermen, who drank around 22 units a week, were twice as likely either to have a heart attack or die from one, a British Medical Journal report quoted in Daily Mail said.

The Frenchmen in the study had higher blood pressure, more of them had diabetes and both groups had the same cholesterol levels, according to the report.

The significant difference, say the researchers, was that the French drank little and often throughout the week, which seemed to protect their hearts.

Meanwhile, the Ulstermen downed most of their weekly total in a couple of days at the weekend - they were effectively binge-drinking.

What many people don’t realise is that officially you are “bingeing” if you have twice your daily allowance in the course of one day.

“This new French study serves as a warning to middle-aged men,” says Annie Britton, senior lecturer in epidemiology at University College London.

“They lose the protective effects of alcohol on their heart if they binge-drink,” adds Britton.

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