Alcohol Increases the Risk of Cold Injury

Topic Overview

Drinking alcohol may increase the risk of injury from cold exposure. Alcohol:

  • Changes your body's ability to regulate body temperature.
  • Changes your judgment. For example, a person may not put on more clothing when it is needed if his or her judgment is changed by alcohol.
  • Can cause blood vessels in the skin to get bigger (dilate). This increases heat loss.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD, MMEd, FRCPC - Emergency Medicine

Current as ofNovember 20, 2017

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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