What is heavy drinking? It is consuming 5 or more drinks on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days. In general, healthy adults taking more than single-day or weekly limits is considered “at-risk” or “heavy” drinking: women having more than 3 drinks on any day or 7 per week and men having more than 4 drinks on any day or 14 per week.

People who surpass these limits, about 1 in 4, are already having an alcohol use disorder, while the rest are at higher risk for getting into these and some other health related problems. Yet again, individual risks vary. People can also face harms even drinking less than amounts mention above, especially if they are quick drinkers. A new study suggests that too much alcohol in middle age can increase heart related problems as exactly as  diabetes or high blood pressure. In a study of 11,644 middle-aged Swedish twins researchers, followed for 43 years, evaluated the effects of an average of less than half a drink daily (light drinking) to more than two drinks daily (heavy drinking).

Maryam-Riaz 3Maryam Riaz has completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. She has also done Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology from Fauji Foundation University. Her research work includes leadership styles and Pygmalion effect in bank managers and their subordinates and another research was on organizational commitment and job Stress.

Editor: Jaffar Ali

The results of study reveal that:

  • There is about 34 percent higher risk of stroke in heavy drinkers as compared to light drinkers.
  • Irrespective of early-life factors and genetic, mid-life heavy drinkers in their 50s and 60s, were likely to have a stroke five years earlier in life.
  • Study showed that in their mid-life, heavy drinkers had increased stroke risk compared to well-known peril factors like diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • At around age 75, diabetes and blood pressure seemed to take over as one of the major influences on having a stroke.


Findings of journal Stroke, published Jan. 29, show that risk of stroke is 34 percent higher in people whose average amount is more than two drinks a day as compared to those whose every day average amounts to less than half a drink. Findings also proved that people who drink heavily in their 50s and 60s, in comparison to light drinkers or non-imbibers, be likely to suffer from strokes and other problems earlier in life.