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Study shows energy drink 'cocktails' lead to increased injury risk
Date:11/4/2007

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. College students who drink alcohol mixed with so-called energy drinks are at dramatically higher risk for injury and other alcohol-related consequences, compared to students who drink alcohol without energy drinks, according to new research from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. The findings were reported today at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Washington, D.C.

The researchers found that students who consumed alcohol mixed with energy drinks were twice as likely to be hurt or injured, twice as likely to require medical attention, and twice as likely to ride with an intoxicated driver, as were students who did not consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks. Students who drank alcohol mixed with energy drinks were more than twice as likely to take advantage of someone else sexually, and almost twice as likely to be taken advantage of sexually.

We knew anecdotally -- from speaking with students, and from researching internet blogs and websites -- that college students mix energy drinks and alcohol in order to drink more, and to drink longer, said Mary Claire OBrien, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine and public health sciences and lead researcher on the study. But we were surprised that the risk of serious and potentially deadly consequences is so much higher for those who mixed energy drinks with alcohol, even when we adjusted for the amount of alcohol.

Compared to current drinkers who did not consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks, students who did drank significantly more during a typical drinking session (5.8 drinks versus 4.5 drinks/typical session). They reported twice as many episodes of weekly drunkenness (1.4 versus 0.73 days/week). The greatest number of drinks in a single episode was 36 percent higher for students who reported drinking energy drinks with their alcohol (8.3 versus 6.1 drinks.)

OBrien and colleagues conducted a web-based surve
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Contact: shkoontz@wfubmc.edu
shkoontz@wfubmc.edu
336-716-2415
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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