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Studies

Young adults who have just one drink a day can raise risk of stroke by a fifth

More than 1.5 million 20 to 30-year-olds were included in the six-year study.

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Just one drink a day was enough to raise the risk of stroke by a fifth. (Ground Picture via Shutterstock)

By Pol Allingham via SWNS

Young adults who down just one drink a day raise their risk of a stroke by fifth, warns a new study.

Seoul National University discovered people who drank the equivalent of just over six pints of beer a week for two years were 20 percent more likely to have a stroke, versus those who drank less or not at all.

This comes as more and more people are having strokes in their 20s and 30s.

UK charity Stroke reported one in five people who have strokes are now under 55.

More than 1.5 million 20 to 30-year-olds were included in the six-year study and 3,153 had a stroke before it was completed.

The more years the person drank heavily the more their stroke risk increased.

Dr. Eue-Keun Choi, of Seoul National University in the Republic of Korea, said: “The rate of stroke among young adults has been increasing over the last few decades, and stroke in young adults causes death and serious disability."

“If we could prevent stroke in young adults by reducing alcohol consumption, that could potentially have a substantial impact on the health of individuals and the overall burden of stroke on society.”

People in their 20s and 30s in a Korean national health database were asked about their drinking habits each year for six years.

Every participant was asked how many days a week they drank alcohol, and how many drinks they had each time.

party, holidays, celebration, nightlife and people concept - smiling friends with glasses of champagne in club
(Ground Picture via Shutterstock)

Those who drank 105 grams or more a week were considered moderate or heavy drinkers, the equivalent of around six and a half pints of beer or seven and a half glasses of wine.

This comes to around one drink a day.

Light drinkers were those who drank less than 105 grams.

Moderate or heavy drinkers for two or more years were 20 percent more likely to have a stroke than those who drank lightly or not at all.

The risk increased the more years individuals drank a lot.

If they drank moderately to heavily for two years they had a 19 percent higher risk of stroke.

After three years this went up to 22 percent increased risk, and after four years 23 percent, even after taking into account other risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking and body mass index (BMI.)

The link was put down to a higher chance of hemorrhagic stroke, or stroke caused by bleeding in the brain.

Dr. Choi said: “Since more than 90% of the burden of stroke overall can be attributed to potentially modifiable risk factors, including alcohol consumption, and since stroke in young adults severely impacts both the individual and society by limiting their activities during their most productive years, reducing alcohol consumption should be emphasized in young adults with heavy drinking habits as part of any strategy to prevent stroke."

The study published in the journal Neurology was limited by only including Korean people, meaning the risk may not transfer to other races and ethnicities.

People also filled out the questionnaires and may have forgotten how much alcohol they drank.

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