Background and Purpose: Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk for all strokes, whereas moderate regular alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk for ischemic stroke. The effect of binge drinking on ischemic stroke has not been well known. We undertook a population-based case-control study and the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of the binge drinking on ischemic stroke risk.
Methods: Cases were recruited from patients aged 20 over and hospitalized due to first-ever ischemic stroke which was confirmed by diffusion-weighted MRI. Stroke-free controls, obtained from the database of the 4-5th Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, were matched with the cases by age, sex and education level. All participants completed an interview using a structured questionnaire about alcohol intake. A binge drinking pattern was defined as consuming 6 or more drinks (> 60g of pure alcohol) of the same alcoholic beverage in 1 session. We confined this analysis to male subjects and non-drinkers in past year and were excluded. A conditional logistic regression models were adjusted for age, hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, hyperlipidemia, body mass index and smoking habit. The frequent drinking was defined as 4 times or more a week.
Results: Case (n=682) and control (n=1592) were included in this analysis. The binge drinking habit was found in 365 (53.5%) of the cases and 495 (31.1%) of the controls. Compared with non-binge drinkers, the odd ratio for ischemic stroke among binge drinkers was 2.96 (95% CI, 2.18-4.03) after adjusting the confounders. Compared with non-binge drinkers, the harmful association with ischemic stroke in occasional binge drinkers who drank less than 4 times a week (OR 2.31, 95%CI 1.61-3.31) and in frequent binge drinker who drank 4 times or more a week (OR 4.25, 95%CI 2.79-6.48).
Conclusions: This result suggests that a binge drinking habit may have a harmful effect on ischemic stroke.