Differences in the Temporal Typology of Alcohol Hangover

Joris C. Verster, Marith van Schrojenstein Lantman, Marlou Mackus, Aurora J.A.E. van de Loo, Johan Garssen, Andrew Scholey

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: At a group level, hangover severity during the day has been described to follow an inverted U-shaped curve, with gradually increasing severity scores that, after reaching a peak, gradually decrease toward zero. The aim of this study was to examine if and how individual drinkers' hangover severity scores vary during the day. Methods: Data from a survey (Penning et al.,) in which 727 drinkers reported on their latest alcohol hangover were reanalyzed. The temporal pattern of each individual's hangover was first categorized as belonging to 1 of 6 types based on predefined temporal characteristics. Results: Three dominant hangover patterns emerged as comprising more than 95% of the sample: (i) a continuous decline hangover (Severity Type 1 hangover, 54.5%), (ii) a steady state hangover (Severity Type 2 hangover, 19.1%), and (iii) an inverted U-shaped curve hangover (Severity Type 3 hangover, 21.8%). Of these 3 patterns, Severity Type 2 hangovers are associated with significantly less alcohol consumption and with having the lowest severity scores of individual hangover symptoms. Severity Type 1 hangovers are associated with having the highest severity of individual hangover symptoms. In line with significantly lower levels of alcohol consumption, Severity Type 2 hangovers were significantly more often observed in women when compared to men. Severity Type 1 hangovers were significantly more common in men than in women. Severity Type 3 hangovers, characterized by the increased presence of gastrointestinal complaints, were equally commonly experienced in men and women. Conclusions: This study revealed that the temporal pattern of hangover severity can follow marked interindividual variability. Three common temporal patterns were identified, which are uniquely related to the amount of alcohol consumed and the presence and severity of different individual hangover symptoms. Better understanding of individual differences in hangover typology may help to delineate mechanisms underlying alcohol hangover.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-697
Number of pages7
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Hangover
  • Patterns
  • Severity
  • Symptoms
  • Temporality

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