ASPPH logo


Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Harvard Finds Binge Drinking Linked with Higher Heart Attack Risk

People who binge drink are 72 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who do not, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Researchers looked at interview data from nearly 4,000 people across the U.S. hospitalized for heart attacks from 1989–1986. They looked at the number of alcoholic drinks participants drank in the hour before their heart attack symptoms appeared as well as how much alcohol they drank in the past year.

Gin, vodka, and whiskey appeared to pose the greatest risk while beer and wine posed less risk, the researchers found. In addition, drinking small amounts of alcohol frequently — as opposed to large amounts over a short time (binge drinking) — appeared to protect against cardiac problems.

The study appeared in the March 2015 issue of the journal Epidemiology. Harvard Chan authors included lead author Dr. Elizabeth Mostofsky, instructor in the department of epidemiology. Read more