February 12th, 2014
There’s no question that most young men love their alcohol. When they are bonding with their peers, closest friends or are in a social setting, more often than not, beer or alcohol is involved. It can act as an icebreaker, a mood-relaxer or a pick-me-up. However, when it comes to binge drinking, the body of evidence pointing to its immediate dangers is extensive.
A new study published in The Lancet Medical Journal (Link) continues to add to that evidence in binge drinking. Researchers revealed that vodka was a key contributor to the high death rate of Russian men under the age of 55 (overall a quarter of Russian men die before they hit 55).
In order to conduct the study about binge drinking, researchers asked 151,000 Russian men how much vodka they consumed. The researchers then followed the participants for up to ten years. During that ten-year period, 8,000 participants died.
Using a sub-group of 57,000 men, researchers determined “higher risks of death” among those who drank three or more half-liter bottles of vodka per week, than those who drank less than a bottle per week.
The causes for mortality caused by binge drinking were mainly alcohol poisoning, accidents, violence, suicide and cancer. The death rate among men between the ages of 35 and 54 were as follows: 16% for less than a bottle a week. 20% for one to 2.9 bottles a week. And 35% for three or more bottles a week.
Study leader, David Zaridze from the Russian Cancer Research Center in Moscow noted that findings reinforce “other evidence that vodka is a major cause of the high risk of premature death in Russian adults.”
In a comment on the study, Juergen Rehm from the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto said, “it is a combination of high overall volume with the specific pattern of episodic binges.” Rehm continued, “since the average life expectancy from birth for men in Russia is still only 64 years, ranking among the lowest 50 countries in the world, more effective alcohol binge drinking and tobacco policy measure are urgently needed.”
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