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Binge drinking may increase your risk of alcohol issues

After a night of binge drinking, you might end up with a nasty hangover the next day. But, there's more. A new study shows those occasions of over indulgence also may raise your risk of developing problems with alcohol, even for moderate drinkers. Viv Williams has details in this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion."

Alcohol
Binge drinking may cause more problems for adults than just nasty hangovers.
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ROCHESTER — How much could an occasional night of binge drinking hurt? A new study shows that moderate, average drinkers with a pattern of binge drinking are almost five times more likely to have alcohol problems than people who drink the same amount over time without binge drinking.

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin define moderate drinking as having, on average, one drink a day for women and two for men. Binge drinking is consuming five or more drinks on one occasion.

Research on binge drinking tends to focus on college kids. This study looks at adults and the researchers say it's a public health concern. And it's the pattern of drinking that matters.

“In both scientific and media discussions of moderate drinking, the pattern of drinking is generally overlooked,” says Rudolf Moos, professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. “This leaves many drinkers mistakenly assuming that a moderate average level of consumption is safe, regardless of drinking pattern.”

The study is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

MORE HEALTH FUSION:
When arctic blasts plummet temperatures, stepping outside can be dangerous. In this Health Fusion episode, Viv Williams talks to a researcher about what intensely cold air could do to anyone's lungs.

Opinion by Viv Williams
Viv Williams hosts the NewsMD podcast and column, "Health Fusion." She is an Emmy (and other) award-winning health and medical reporter whose stories have run on TV, digital and newspaper outlets nationwide. Viv is passionate about boosting people's health and happiness by helping them access credible, reliable and research-based health information from top experts. She regularly interviews experts and patients from leading medical institutions, such as Mayo Clinic.
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