Can certain beers be more hazardous to your health than others? New research suggests that the answer may be yes: inexpensive beers and malt liquors make up the top five drinks associated with alcohol-related injuries, according to a small study recently published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse.
For the yearlong study, researchers from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore interviewed 105 emergency room patients who had suffered alcohol-related injuries (they waited until 4 a.m. before speaking to people to let them sober up and give proper consent first).
Of the top 20 varieties of alcohol consumed, 70 percent were some type of inexpensive beerÃ¢â‚¬”the most favored brands being Budweiser, Steel Reserve, Colt 45, Bud Ice, and Bud Light. Interestingly, three of those five beers are malt liquors (Budweiser and Bud Light are the only exceptions). Here's the thing: This doesn't mean that these brands specifically are the most dangerous beer brands. Rather, it's what they have in common: they're cheap and/or malt liquor.
Why might cheap beers or malt liquor be more dangerous than more expensive drinks? This research only showed a correlation (not causation), but it does make sense: Malt liquor has a higher alcohol content than other beers. And inexpensive beer means it's easier to drink more, quickly, without spending as much money--so it's easier to binge drink and get drunk on these beers. Still, given the small sample size, further research is needed to determine whether certain brands (or certain types of alcohol) actually cause more alcohol-related injuries, says lead study author David Jernigan, Ph.D., associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Whenever youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re drinking alcohol, consuming too much at once is dangerous (regardless of what exactly is in your glass). And since drunk drivingÃ¢â‚¬”and even walkingÃ¢â‚¬”can put your safety at at risk, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s smart to always arrange for a designated driver or call a cab to get home at the end of the night.
Editor's note:Ã‚Â The above story was edited to further clarify that the brands listed above are not responsible for the increased risk of injuries--binge drinking, particularly high alcohol by volume beer, is what's to blame.
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