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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

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised April 15, 2013

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