Binge drinking increases stroke risk, say doctors

London: Binge drinkers double their risk of suffering a stroke, say doctors. But two out of three people questioned in a survey were unaware that binge drinking can trigger the condition.

The Stroke Association report also shows that one in two adults will binge drink over Christmas and they are twice as likely to suffer than those who don’t drink.

Jon Barrick, chief executive of the association, said: ‘Anyone can have a stroke, so binge drinkers are increasing their risk of an attack.

‘People are clearly aware that they should exercise control over the amount of alcohol they consume, but over half of those surveyed reveal they still binge drink on an average night out.

‘If this leads to a stroke, it could have extremely seriously consequences such as long-term disabilities or even death.’

Every year 130,000 people have a stroke, with 10,000 under retirement age, while nearly 60,000 people will die as a result.

The latest warning comes as European statistics, due to be released next week, show teenage girls have for the first time overtaken boys in the levels of UK binge drinking.

The Stroke Association survey of 1,909 adults across the UK found a lack of understanding among the public about what constitutes binge drinking.

Three quarters underestimated the recommended daily limits of alcohol for men and women, with just 22 per cent understanding the daily limits of between three and four units for men and two and three units for women.

Around half said they drank four or more alcoholic drinks – six units – which constitutes binge drinking, but only 29 per cent considered themselves to be a binger.

The survey also found that young people aged between 25 and 34 were most likely to consume 10 or more alcoholic drinks a night.

Just 40 per cent thought binge drinking could lead to a stroke, with the majority worried about dehydration and liver damage.

And 57 per cent of those surveyed said they planned to binge drink over the Christmas period.

Meanwhile, an advertising campaign unveiled on Wednesday by drinks watchdog the Portman Group is targeting female binge drinkers.