NEW YORK, Nov. 16 (Reuters) – A new US study has revealed evidence supporting a long belief that those who live in parts of the world where shorter and colder drinks more alcohol are potentially putting people at greater risk of liver disease.
In a study from the University of Pittsburgh, a gastroenterology department, a new study has begun to explore whether living in cooler, darker climates leads to people consuming more alcohol and the impact they may have at the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis.
The researchers collected information about 193 sovereign countries, as well as 50 countries and 3,144 counties in the United States using data from the World Health Organization, the World Meteorological Organization and the Institute of Health and Assessment.
Then they looked at associations between climatic factors such as the average temperature and hours of sunlight, alcohol consumption (measured as total alcohol consumption per capita), the percentage of the population drinking alcohol and the speed of drinking.
Finds, published online in the magazine Hepatology, showed that the temperature and number of days of the day were falling, alcohol consumption was increased.
The researchers also found evidence suggesting that colder and darker days also contribute to drunkenness and a higher rate of alcoholic liver disease, which is one of the main causes of death in those with prolonged excessive alcohol use. The same results were found in comparison with countries around the world and the comparison of districts within the United States.
"This is something that everyone assumed for decades, but nobody has scientifically shown it. Why are people drinking so much in Russia? Why in Wisconsin? They all assume that this is because it's cold," said senior author Ramon Bataller, MD, PhD. "But we could not find any paper linking alcohol with alcohol or alcoholic cirrhosis. This is the first study that systematically shows that in the world and in America, in colder regions and in less sunny areas, you have more drinking and alcoholic cirrhosis."
The team noted that they also took into account other factors that could influence how many populations drink, for example, most Arab populations living in hot, desert areas with a large number of sun-hours would abstain from alcohol.
The researchers also controlled health factors that could exacerbate the effects of alcohol on the liver, such as viral hepatitis, obesity and smoking.
"It's important to emphasize many factors that cause confusion," said author Meritkell Ventura-Cots. "We tried to control as much as we could. For example, we tried to control religion and how it affected alcohol habits."
They explained that they can drink in colder climates because alcohol is a vasodilator, which means increasing the warm blood flow to the skin, which is full of temperature sensors, and thus can increase the sense of heat. The question is also related to depression, which is tend to be worse during the winter months and when it has less sunlight. – AFP-Relaknews