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Is alcohol consumption really high when it's cold?

The results of the new American survey are consistent with the belief that life in a cold country leads to increased alcohol consumption, exposing the liver to a greater risk of degradation.

Is alcohol consumption really high when it's cold?American researchers are investigating the relationship between cold living, alcohol consumption and cirrhosis risk.

A team of researchers from the Department of Gastroenterology at the University of Pittsburgh investigates the relationship between cold living, alcohol consumption and cirrhosis risk.

Researchers gathered information from 193 sovereign countries, as well as 50 states and 3,144 US counties, from World Health Organization (WHO), World Meteorological Organization (WHO) and IHME, World Health Organization. Seattle Institute for Public Health Statistics.

The researchers then looked at the components of climatic factors (average temperature, sunshine), alcohol consumption per capita, the percentage of the population consuming alcohol and the percentage of dipsomania.

The results were published in the journal Hepatology, show that as temperatures and hours of sunshine are decreasing, alcohol consumption is rising.

Researchers also found that dark and cold days contributed to excessive alcohol consumption and an increase in alcoholic liver disease, the leading cause of death among people who drink heavy for a long time. The same results are obtained by comparing the countries of the world and comparing the different counties of the United States.

"It's a belief that has been going on for decades, but no one has to deal with science. Why do Russians drink so much? Why is this also in Wisconsin? Everyone thinks it's because of the cold weather"says Dr. Ramon Bataller, head of the study.But we did not find paper that links the climate with alcohol or alcoholic cirrhosis. This study is the first to scientifically prove that throughout the world, like the United States, in the coldest and darkest areas, alcohol consumption is higher and alcoholic cirrhosis is greater.".

The team stated that it also took into account other factors that can influence alcohol consumption. For example, the non-alcohol consumption of most Arab populations living in areas with high heat and where the sun is longer.

Researchers also looked at health factors that could enhance the effects of alcohol on the liver, such as viral hepatitis, obesity or the effects of smoking.

"It is important to emphasize the many factors of confusion"says Meritxell Ventura-Cots, another author of the study."We've taken care of accommodating most of them. Religion and its influence on eating habits, for example".

Researchers explain that people living in cold climates often use alcohol as a vasodilator to increase blood flow and increase the sensation of heat. Drink is also associated with the depressed state, which tends to be more severe during the winter months and because of the lack of sunlight.

It was created on 20 November 2018


Cold weather conditions and fewer hours of sunlight increase alcohol consumption and alcohol cirrhosis worldwide – Meritxell Ventura-Cots et al. – Hepatology First publication: 16 October 2018 (available electronically)

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