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Alcoholic beverages contain ethanol, which is mostly converted into acetaldehyde. The Rochester team found that binge drinking-related levels of acetaldehyde make immune cells called monocyctes more likely to stick to blood vessel walls and cause inflammation that contributes to blood vessel blockage — atherosclerosis.
The study contributes to a growing body of evidence that drinking patterns have as much, or more, impact on cardiovascular disease risk than the total amount of alcohol consumed. The findings also may help efforts to develop new treatments to counter atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart attack and stroke, the researchers said.
“Factors like binge drinking have been linked to increased risk for heart disease, and the newer inflammatory model is beginning to explain how,” study leader John Cullen, an assistant professor in the department of surgery, said in a medical center news release. “One of our experiments found that acetaldehyde, at levels found in the blood after binge drinking, increased the number of monocytes that can adhere to cells lining blood vessels by 700 percent.”
The study was published in the current issue of the journal Atherosclerosis.
Binge drinking means having five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in two hours, according to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Some studies have suggested that an irregular pattern of heavy drinking increases the risk of heart attack about two-fold.
An estimated 65 percent of Americans drink alcohol, and 15 percent reporting binge patterns, the researchers said.
Until 2002, Kumar Dhakal, 51, of Surkhet was a respected journalist, a teacher and a responsible family man. In the five years that followed, that image was shattered as Dhakal made a descent into the abyss of alcohol abuse. He lost his job and was incapable of shouldering family responsibilities. “In those dark years, there….
Though they may have recovered, a new study confirms that alcoholics may still face social difficulties. Now, researchers have demonstrated that after recovery, the brains of people suffering from alcoholism still process things differently, which may lead to difficulties recognizing emotions in others. The researchers looked at brain scans of 15 former alcoholics and 15….
With their drinking problems behind them, studies show recovered alcoholics may still face social disorders or deficits. According to ABC News, a recent Boston-based study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs compared the brain function of a group of former alcoholics with the brain function….
A new documentary looks at how people of different religions deal with the faith-based elements of Alcoholics Anonymous. Having been born in Akron, OH, the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous, filmmaker Josh Gippin was well acquainted with the organization. But it was only more recently, as he jumped into a documentary about AA entitled God As….
Alcohol misuse in people aged over 60 is becoming a widespread problem, research suggests. A survey for charity Foundation66 found over one in eight (13%) admitted to drinking more following retirement. Of these, one in five (19%) uses alcohol because of depression, and one in eight (13%) drinks to deal with bereavement. The charity is….