A new study has revealed that the pattern of drinking affects the relation of alcohol intake to coronary heart disease.
The study found that French drink more than the Northern Irish each week, as they drink daily, rather than more on less occasions, the French suffered from considerably less coronary heart disease than the Northern Irish.
Ruidavets and colleagues compared groups of middle-aged men in France and Northern Ireland, who have very different drinking cultures and rates of heart disease.
The authors found that men who ``binge`` drink had nearly twice the risk of myocardial infarction or death from coronary disease compared with regular drinkers over 10 years of follow-up.
Results showed that, after multivariate adjustment, the hazard ratio for hard CHD events compared with regular drinkers was 1.97, for binge drinkers, 2.03, for never drinkers, and 1.57, for former drinkers.
The authors concluded that regular and moderate alcohol intake throughout the week, the typical pattern in middle-aged men in France, is associated with a low risk of ischemic heart disease, whereas the binge-drinking pattern more prevalent in Belfast confers a higher risk.