For many college students a game of beer pong is just a fun pastime, but a recent study claims heart problems later in life may be the cost of too much “fun” drinking. Researchers from the American Heart Association (AHA) reveal that students who drink excessively can double their level of C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP produces inflammation, which is associated with cardiovascular issues.

The study surveyed 25 college students to assess CRP risk factors, such as smoking, taking medication and drinking alcohol. The CRP levels of heavy drinkers (students who have three or more alcoholic beverages at least three days a week or five drinks two days of the week) were more than double that of those who were moderate drinkers (two to five drinks at a time, one or two days a week).

Other factors, however, can cause CRP levels to fluctuate, such as a having a cold, being overweight and smoking nicotine.

Were you a binge drinker in college? If so, Robert Bonow, MD, a Northwestern University cardiologist and AHA member, says don’t obsess about the past; instead focus on the future.

Learn more about binge drinking here.