Background: Although binge drinking and high resting heart rate independently affect cardiovascular and all-cause mortality risk, the combined effect of these two risk factors and their interaction has rarely been studied. This study examined the association between binge drinking and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality and evaluated the potential modifying effect on this association of resting heart rate in Korean men.
Methods: Men aged 55 years or older in 1985 (n = 2600) were followed for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality for 20.8 years, until 2005. We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality by binge drinking and resting heart rate using the Cox proportional hazard model.
Results: Heavy binge drinkers (≥12 drinks on one occasion) with elevated resting heart rate (≥80 bpm) had a HR of 2.25 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.47-3.45) for death from cardiovascular disease and 1.37 (95% CI, 0.87-2.14) for all-cause mortality compared to the reference group (non-drinking and resting heart rate 61-79 bpm). The HRs of dying from cardiovascular disease increased linearly from 1.36 to 1.52, 1.71, and 2.25 among individuals with resting heart rate greater than or equal to 80 bpm within the four alcohol consumption categories (non-drinking, non-binge, moderate binge, and heavy binge), respectively.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that, among older Korean men, heavy binge drinkers with an elevated resting heart rate are at high risk for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.