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'Binge drinking' university students 25 times more likely to suffer injuries: study

(Mainichi)

Students who binge on alcohol are over 25 times more likely to be injured, a study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Tsukuba, Mie University and others has found.

    The rapid increase in blood alcohol levels from binge drinking not only leaves the drinker feeling ill, but also increases the risk of injury due to a decrease in movement and balance.

    The team led by University of Tsukuba lecturer Hisashi Yoshimoto found that when excluding factors such as age and gender, those who said they binge drank were 25.6 times more likely to have reported suffering drinking-related injuries than those who didn't.

    The research team surveyed 2,842 university and graduate students aged 20 or over at three universities in Mie Prefecture in 2013, distributing a questionnaire about their experiences with binge drinking. After analyzing the 2,177 complete questionnaires, it was discovered that 107 students had experienced injuries after binge drinking as a results of fights or falling. Of those students, 104 answered that they engaged in binge drinking at least once a year.

    The definition of binge drinking set by the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is five drinks for men (50 grams of pure alcohol for a Japanese person) and four drinks for women (40 grams) in less than two hours. When converted into a 500 milliliter can of beer at 5 percent alcohol, the amount is roughly equal to 2.5 cans for men and two for women in that time span.

    "Compared to acute alcohol poisoning, little is known about the possibility of injury due to binge drinking," says Yoshimoto. "Students need to be educated about the appropriate speed for consuming alcohol."

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