Study links heavy drinking with a cold, dark climate

A recent study conducted in the U.S. has found that there is a link between heavy drinking and a cold, dark climate. The study found a direct link between average temperatures and hours of sunlight and alcohol consumption.

Examining data from 193 countries, the group found evidence that climate contributed to a higher incidence of binge drinking and liver disease.

Senior author Ramon Bataller, associate director of the Pittsburgh Liver Research Centre, said: “This is the first study that systematically demonstrates that worldwide and in America, in colder areas and areas with less sun, you have more drinking and more alcoholic cirrhosis.”

Alcohol relaxes blood vessels and increases the flow of warm blood to the skin, it is also very heavily linked to depression which is found to be more prevalent in regions where sunlight is scarce.

Evidence of the climate link comes as the WHO presents new data on alcohol consumption in Europe at a summit in Edinburgh today.

It says levels remain high and that almost half of the adult male population are at risk of both short and long-term health and social problems due to harmful drinking patterns.

-Daniel Potter