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According to The Los Angeles Times, binge drinking may up the risk for heart disease, according to a new study that examined drinking cultures in Ireland and France and their possible link to serious heart problems such as heart attack, coronary death and persistent acute chest pain.

Researchers compared drinking habits among 2,405 men from Belfast and 7,373 men from France over a 10-year period. At the beginning of the study they were free of heart disease and self-reported how much they drank. The participants were placed into four groups: those who never drank, former drinkers, regular drinkers, and binge drinkers. Regular drinking was defined as drinking at least one day a week, and drinking less than 1.8 ounces of alcohol on one occasion. Binge drinking was defined as “excessive alcohol intake over a short period on one occasion each week.”

Those who engaged in binge drinking had almost twice the chance of heart attack or dying from heart disease as did regular drinkers.

Alcohol consumption is discussed with patients during the initial consultation. Patients considering plastic surgery are urged to abstain from alcohol prior to surgery. Dr. O’Toole explains to patients in the preoperative appointment that while it may be tempting to go out the night before surgery and have a few drinks, he strongly discourages this. Patients having procedures that are likely to keep them sidelined for a few weeks, like abdominoplasty, or a facelift are likely to want a few  celabratory drinks the night before surgery. Alcohol can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding during surgery.

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