The Stroke Association is warning the public of the dangers of binge drinking and how it can increase your risk of brain damage from a stroke.
The warning comes at the start of Brain Awareness Week 2008.
Binge drinking can raise blood pressure to dangerously high levels and is a major risk factor for stroke.
A stroke is a brain attack; it happens when the blood supply is cut to the brain causing brain cells to die and results in brain damage.
Stroke is the UK's third biggest killer and if it doesn't kill it could leave you paralysed, unable to talk, walk and/or incontinent.
People who binge drink (consume six or more units at a single sitting) are twice as likely to have a stroke than non-drinkers.
Yet, worryingly an estimated 60 percent of people are not aware that stroke can be a consequence of binge drinking.
Current government statistics indicate that 18 percent of men and eight percent of women drank more than eight units and six units respectively, on at least one day in the previous week.
Despite this only 25 percent of people questioned in a survey said that they would reduce the
ir alcohol intake to help reduce their risk of stroke. The number of people, who already do so, was only slightly higher at 31 percent.
These figures are of some concern, especially given that heavy intermittent drinking is a feature of many people's social lives in the UK and young people are more inclined to consume more than twice the recommended sensible drinking limit.
Joe Korner, Director of Communications at The Stroke Association said:
"Stroke can be a devastating condition and can affect anyone, of any age, at any time.
"By binge drinking you are increasing your risk of stroke and leaving yourself vulnerable to serious consequences such as long term disability or even death.
"Therefore The Stroke Association is urging the public, not just for Brain Awareness Week, but for the whole year round to exercise control over the amount of alcohol they are consuming."
source: Morpeth Today