Bloomberg News (11/24, von Schaper) reports, "The French habit of drinking wine almost daily is less taxing to the heart than the Irish custom of downing an equivalent amount of beer on one or two nights a week," according to a study published Nov. 23 in the British Medical Journal. "Middle-aged men in Belfast had almost double the risk of developing heart disease, compared with French drinkers who spread their consumption over a week." Bloomberg News notes that the study "bolsters the findings of previous studies suggesting a link between ischemic heart disease...and drinking patterns."
WebMD (11/23, Hendrick) reported that after examining the "alcohol drinking patterns of 9,758 men in France and Belfast over a 10-year period," researchers found that "men who binge drink have nearly twice the risk of heart attack or death from heart disease than regular drinkers over a 10-year period." For study purposes, "binge drinking was defined as excessive alcohol consumption, or the equivalent of four or five drinks in a short period of time such as a weekend day."
HeartWire (11/23, Nainggolan) reported that an accompanying editorial noted, "Middle-aged men should be made aware that if they are irregular heavy drinkers, the possible cardioprotective properties of alcohol consumption may not apply to them, and in contrast they may be putting themselves at increased risk of having a heart attack." BBC News (11/24) also covers the story.