Tuesday, August 24, 2010


It is not often that we see an article in the Stroke journal, by a Korean author. However, it is getting more often, as Korea prepares to host the coming world congress on Stroke.
This simple piece of epidermiological work was done by Dr Jae Woong Sull and colleagues from the Yonsei University, Seoul, and published in the online edition of Stroke, Aug 19th 2010. It was entitled, " Binge Drinking and Mortality From All Causes and Cerebrovascular Diseases in Korean Men and Women.". They followed up 6,291 residents in the Kangwha county in South Korea, for 20.8 years ( the study started in 1985 ). They were studying the drinking habits of these residents. 63.4% of them were binge drinkers ( defined as having six or more alcoholic drinks in a single occasions ). They found that after 20 years of followup, those who indulged in binge drinking had a 12 fold increase in mortality, principally from hemorraghic strokes, when compared with non-drinkers. Many who suffered the stroke, died and many of them were also hypertensive. There was however no correlation between female binge drinkers and strokes or death.
It looks like in Korea, many drink, and a significant number, binge.
It is true that binge drinking is associated with acute hypertension which may result in a stroke, particularly in patients who are known hypertensives. This has been proven by many other trials.
A gentle warning to hypertensives, not to drink excessively, and if you have weak self-control, it is better not to drink at all.

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