A team of researchers in South Korea has published a new study, which suggests that binge drinking among patients with high blood pressure could multiply the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

The study revealed that those with blood pressure readings around 165/100 ran four times higher risk of dying of from cardiovascular disease compared to non-drinkers if they drank six drinks at one sitting.

And if the same patients were to consume as many as 12 drinks on one occasion, the risk of death from a stroke or heart attack also rises 12-fold, says lead researcher Dr. Heechoul Ohrr, a professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Yonsein University College of Medicine in Seoul.

"The pattern of drinking, such as heavy binge drinking, does matter, not just the total volume of alcohol per week in terms of risk of stroke mortality," Dr. Ohrr says while reiterating that this is more important among patients with blood pressure.

The study, published in the online edition of the medical journal Stroke, says the research team collected data on 6,100 men and women living in a farming community. These volunteers were followed for more than two decades to analyze their drinking patterns.

The researchers divided these men and women into four groups of non-drinkers, non-binge drinkers, moderate binge drinkers (having six drinks) and heavy binge drinkers (having 12 or more drinks on one occasion).

It was found that among men with high blood pressure, 17.8 percent were moderate binge drinkers while 3.9 percent were in the heavy binge drinkers category. Among the women, there were only very few who admitted to binge drinking so the researchers failed to draw any conclusions.

The study found that the risk of stroke among men with high blood pressure went up three-fold when compared to the non-drinkers category and in case they turned to heavy binge drinking, the risk rose 12 times.

"Any pattern of drinking, even heavy binge drinking, did not significantly increase the risk of dying of stroke: It was only 1.66 times higher than nondrinkers," Ohrr said in the study while pointing out that male heavy binge drinkers with hypertension constituted the group with the highest risk of cardiovascular mortality rates.