Moderate alcohol consumption linked to high blood pressure
A study of 17,000 U.S adults is to be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session showing how moderate drinking is linked to high blood pressure. “I think this will be a turning point for clinical practice, as well as for future research, education and public health policy regarding alcohol consumption,” said Amer Aladin MD, lead study author, “This study is not only large but diverse in terms of race and gender. The results are very informative for future research and practice.”
The participants were split into 3 groups, those who never drank alcohol, those who drank 7-13 drinks a week (moderate drinkers) and those who drank 14 or more a week (heavy drinkers). Medically trained personnel recorded their blood pressure during visits to the participants’s homes and examination centres. Adjustments were made for age, sex, race, income and other cardiovascular risk factors for hypertension.
The study found that compared to those who never drank, the moderate drinkers were 53% more likely to have stage 1 hypertension and twice as likely to have stage 2 hypertension. Heavy drinkers were 69% more likely to have stage 1 hypertension and 2.4 times more likely to have stage 2 hypertension.
NOTE: According to the 2017 ACC/AHA high blood pressure guidelines, stage 1 hypertension is having systolic BP between 130-139 or diastolic BP between 80-89. Stage 2 hypertension as having systolic BP as above 140 and diastolic BP as above 90.