Associations of Binge Drinking With Vascular Brain Injury and Atrophy in Older American Indians: The Strong Heart Study

J Aging Health. 2021 Aug-Sep;33(7-8_suppl):51S-59S. doi: 10.1177/08982643211013696.


Objectives: American Indians (AIs) generally consume less alcohol than the US general population; however, the prevalence of alcohol use disorder is higher. This is the first large cohort study to examine binge drinking as a risk factor for vascular brain injury (VBI). Methods: We used linear and Poisson regression to examine the association of self-reported binge drinking with VBI, measured via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in 817 older AIs who participated in the Strong Heart and Cerebrovascular Disease and Its Consequences in American Indians studies. Results: Any binge drinking at multiple time-points was associated with increased sulcal (β = 0.360, 95% CI [0.079, 0.641]) and ventricle dilatation (β = 0.512, 95% CI [0.174, 0.850]) compared to no binge drinking. Discussion: These observed associations are consistent with previous findings. Identifying how binge drinking may contribute to VBI in older AIs may suggest modifiable health behaviors for neurological risk reduction and disease prevention.

Keywords: American Indian; binge drinking; older adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • American Indians or Alaska Natives / psychology*
  • Atrophy
  • Binge Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cerebrovascular Trauma / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebrovascular Trauma / ethnology*
  • Cerebrovascular Trauma / pathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / psychology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged