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A third of Hoosier drinkers binge, Ball State study says

– More than a third of Indiana adults who consume alcohol say they regularly binge drink, a new Ball State University study found.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines binge drinking as men consuming five or more drinks or women consuming four or more drinks in about two hours. The CDC provided the data for Ball State’s study.

Ball State researchers found that in 2011, about half of Indiana adults classified themselves as regular drinkers and nearly 35 percent of them said they binge drink, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported.

University researchers found that Indiana has the 32nd-highest percentage of binge drinkers among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Adults 22 to 25 years old are more likely to binge drink and drink heavily, according to the study. The percentage of adults in Indiana who say they binge drink or drink heavily goes down as age increases.

Alcohol tolerance varies from person to person, so those who drink should watch how it affects them specifically, said Dr. Peter Mavrelis, a gastroenterologist who works with Indiana University Northwest.

“Just because your friend can hold down two six-packs doesn’t mean you can do the same,” he said.

Mavrelis also said he was surprised at how little alcohol is considered binge drinking, noting that people often consider binge drinking as drinking to the point of incapacitation. Still, he said, people should keep their alcohol consumption to fewer than two or three drinks a day.