Is alcohol consumption really higher if it's cold?

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

Is alcohol consumption really higher if it's cold?American scientists are exploring the relationship between cold climate life, alcohol consumption and the risk of cirrhosis.

A team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh in Gastroenterology examines the relationship between cold climate life, alcohol consumption, and the risk of cirrhosis.

Researchers gathered information from 193 sovereign countries as well as 50 states and 3,144 US regions from the World Health Organization, the World Meteorological Organization and the IHME World Health Organization. Seattle's Statistics Institute for Public Health Statistics.

In addition, scientists examined the relationship between climatic factors (average temperature, sunlight), per capita alcohol consumption, the percentage of people drinking alcohol and the rate of dipsomania (drinking alcohol).

Results published online in the magazine Hepatology, show that decreasing temperatures and hours of sunlight increase alcohol consumption.

Researchers also found that dark, cold days contributed to excessive alcohol drinking and higher numbers of alcoholic liver disorders, a major cause of death in people who have been drinking hard for a long time. The same results can be found by comparing the countries of the world and comparing the various districts of the United States.

"It's a faith that has been for decades, but no one has ever met with science. Why do Russians drink so much? Why is it also in Wisconsin? Everyone thinks it's because of the cold weather"says Dr. Ramon Bataller, lead author of the study.However, we did not find any paper that would combine the climate with alcohol or alcoholic cirrhosis. This study is the first to scientifically demonstrate that alcohol consumption is higher in the coldest and darkest parts of the world than in the United States, and alcoholic cirrhosis is more common.".

The team said it took into account other factors that could affect the amount of alcohol consumed. For example, alcohol abuse among the majority of Arabs living in desert regions with high temperatures and where the sun is longer.

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

"It is important to highlight many factors that cause confusion"says Meritxell Ventura-Cots, another author of the study."Most of them are assured. Religion and its influence on drinking habits, for example".

Scientists explain that people living in cold climates often use alcohol as a vasodilator, increase blood flow and increase the feeling of warmth. The drink is also associated with a depressed state that is stricter in the winter months and due to a lack of sunlight.

Created on 20 November 2018


Cold weather and fewer sun hours increase alcohol consumption and cirrhosis around the world – Meritxell Ventura-Cots et al. – Hepatology First publication: October 16, 2018 (available online)

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