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Daily drinking worse than bingeing

Daily drinking worse than bingeing

Liver damage is more likely to be brought on by the daily consumption of alcohol than by so called binge drinking, a study suggests.

People who drink heavily one day after another over a long period have a greater chance of suffering serious liver disease than those drinking lots in one go with breaks in between each incident.

Research, published in the journal Addiction, looked at 234 patients with liver disease and found that alcohol was identified as a major factor in 106 of those cases.

These people, aged between 51 and 55, were all diagnosed with alcoholic liver disease and were either drinking more than 30 units every week or had a strong history of heavy alcohol consumption.

Those who drank on a daily basis made up 71% of the group (57), while a 15% (12) drank on four, five or six days each week.

Of the 106, 75% (80) showed signs of cirrhosis or progressive fibrosis of the liver.

The study noted that those with alcohol-related liver disease started drinking at a significantly younger age (15 on average) than other people and had drunk more since the age of 20.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Addiction

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"These kind of studies perpetuate damaging drinking: '..were all diagnosed with alcoholic liver disease and were either
drinking more than 30 units every week or had a strong history of heavy alcohol consumption'.
A strong history of heavy drinking?!?! This definition is too vague. Since the WHO study preliminary results of 10 years ago established longer life expectancy for up to a bottle of wine a day (of probably weaker old-world wines) no one has taken these scaremongering studies seriously, especially after the UK government embarrassingly admitted, in the face of
the WHO study, it's own advice on limits had been invented by scientists at the time who had to guess. The numbers on this are no help: according to WHO: if spread out 30 units a week is perfectly safe, indeed up to 42 units. And perhaps these long-term drinkers did have the occasional binge which indeed might be the real cause of the damage. Or perhaps they made
the mistake of using paracetamol as a pain reliever (puts pressure on the liver). There are too many factors. A bad oyster can do it, for goodness sake.
Without concrete numbers and facts no one can come to an informed decision on what they can get away with which is what they really want to know. So they just drink with abandon: after all do you know anyone who has died from a hangover?" - Greg Lorriman, Leatherhead

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