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HHS HealthBeat (June 17, 2013)

Heart facts on bingeing

HHS HealthBeat: College students drinking.

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The Facts on Binge Drinking

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates college-age binge drinkers may be raising their risks of cardiovascular disease later in life. Shane Phillips of the University of Illinois at Chicago looked for early signs by comparing 19 binge drinkers to 17 nondrinkers.

Phillips examined the ability of small blood vessels such as those in the arm to dilate, or widen. Reduction in dilating is a sign of an early tendency toward heart disease. Phillips found changes in the binge drinker group. So he says:

“Even though these individuals are young and healthy, and don’t have other overt cardiovascular signs of disease, these data would suggest that maybe they’re on the road to developing that.”

The study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: June 18, 2013