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Study: Colder weather, fewer sunlight hours increases alcoholic consumption

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People who live in colder, darker places are more likely to turn to alcoholic beverages, leading to an increased risk for alcoholic cirrhosis. 

That's according to findings from a new study published by researchers at the Pittsburgh Liver Research Center.  The researchers said they aimed to investigate if climate has a causal effect on alcohol consumption and its weight on alcoholic cirrhosis. They collected data from 193 countries as well as 50 states and 3,144 counties in the United States.

"Climate parameters comprised Koppen-Geiger classification, average annual sunshine hours, and average annual temperature. Alcohol consumption data, pattern of drinking, health indicators, and alcohol-attributable fraction (AAF) of cirrhosis were obtained," reads a statement from researchers. 

Their conclusion is that the study results suggest that colder climates may play a causal role on alcohol-attributable fraction (AAF) "mediated by alcohol consumption."

"Risk of alcoholic cirrhosis is determined by genetic and environmental factors. Although it is generally accepted that colder weather predisposes to alcohol misuse, no studies have investigated its impact on alcohol intake and alcoholic cirrhosis," reads a statement from researchers. 

Michigan residents find themselves in these conditions each year, of course. As the days shorten and the temperatures get colder, Michiganders might be more prone to alcohol consumption, according to the study. 

"We consistently found that sunshine hours and especially temperature, have an impact on alcohol consumption and, even more importantly, on the percentage of drinkers among a population," reads an excerpt from the study. 

You can view the full study here


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