Frequent Alcohol Consumption Linked to Stroke: Study

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By Roshni Mahesh | March 20, 2014 10:37 PM EST

Too much addiction to alcohol could lead to stroke and death. While highlighting this point, a study from Finland found that limiting the frequency of drinking was equally important for remaining healthy as the amount of liquor one consumed.

John Loo/Flickr
Men in the study, who consumed alcohol more frequently than twice a week, had over a threefold risk of dying from stroke than non-drinkers.

Men in the study, who consumed alcohol more frequently than twice a week, had over a threefold risk of dying from stroke than non-drinkers.

For the study, researchers from the University of Eastern Finland followed 2,609 middle-aged men enrolled in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KHID) for 20 years. The amount of alcohol consumed at a single sitting and the total number of times a week the participants consumed alcohol was collected through surveys. Prevalence of stroke was determined by analysing different sources including the Finnish Stroke Register, National Cause of Death Register and hospitals.

During the study period, nearly 66 people died from stroke. Results showed a direct association between the number of times a person consumed alcohol in a week and his risk of stroke mortality. More frequent consumption of alcohol was associated with greater risk of stroke mortality.

"This study shows a strong association between the frequency of alcohol consumption and stroke mortality, independent of total amount of alcohol consumption. The risk of stroke death was the highest among men who consumed alcohol >2.5 times per week," the authors concluded.

The study has been published in Acta Neurologica Scandinavica.

Alcohol works by stimulating feelings related to happiness and relaxation. Apart from that, it also activates certain regions of brain related to thinking and pleasure, according to the Stroke Association, UK.

However, when the alcohol intake exceeds the limit, many people develop health complications including slurred speech, memory loss, headaches, blurred vision, delayed reaction and impaired judgement. Excess consumption of alcohol can also increase the risk of cancer, liver disease, strokes, brain damage and osteoporosis (a bone disease).

While explaining the link between alcohol consumption and strokes, they said that excessive drinking leads to the development of certain diseases like high BP and diabetes that interfere with the normal circulation of blood in the body. Role of the two chronic diseases in strokes is widely known.

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(Photo: John Loo/Flickr / )
Men in the study, who consumed alcohol more frequently than twice a week, had over a threefold risk of dying from stroke than non-drinkers.
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