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Bagpipes could lead to alcoholism

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LONDON, Aug 25, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Acoustic experts say as well as inducing earache, bagpipes could also be linked to alcoholism, a report said Monday.

Hearing loss and repetitive strain injury are also linked to the instrument, the Daily Telegraph reported. Going further, a survey also found having a passion for the pipes can contribute to the breakdown of players' marriages.

"Bagpipes are dangerous and should come with a health warning," says the report by Piper & Drummer magazine.

James Bousquet, a bagpiper and acoustics expert, measured the noise from a single instrument and found it reached 122 decibels -- louder than a chainsaw or a plane landing.

About 10 percent of players said their hobby had ended their marriages while 84 percent knew pipers who were alcoholics.

"Pipers are more likely to have an hour-glass belly in which they develop distended stomachs filled with the air from playing the instrument," said Dr. Robert Sataloff, a U.S. lung disease expert.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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