Monday, May 23, 2011

Alcohol Consumption and the Risk of Hypertension


Drinking too much alcohol can raise BP to unhealthy levels, especially among men. Moderate amounts of alcohol actually protect women, but not men. The meta-analysis evaluated a total of 16 prospective studies, which included 158,142 men and 314,258 women. Among men, a linear dose–response relationship between alcohol intake and risk of development of hypertension was noted. As compared to non-drinkers, men consuming < 10g/day of alcohol had a relative risk (RR) of 1.006, those consuming 10-20 g/day had a RR of 1.091, and those consuming > 30g/day had a RR of 1.416. Among women, the meta-analysis indicated protective effects at < 10g/day (RR -0.867) and 10-20g/day (RR – 0.904) of alcohol consumption, while the risk increased in women consuming > 30g/day (RR – 1.188). The risk of hypertension significantly increases with consumption of more than 30g/day in men and women alike.

Note: 30 grams is equal to about 2 5oz. glasses of wine, or 2 12 oz. beers:

12 ounces beer = 153 calories and 13.9 grams alcohol
12 ounces lite beer = 103 calories and 11 grams alcohol
5 ounces wine (red) = 125 calories and 15.6 grams alcohol
5 ounces wine (white) = 121 calories and 15.1 grams alcohol
3 ounces sake = 117 calories and 14.1 grams alcohol
1 1/2 ounces liquor (80 proof or 40% alcohol) = 97 calories and 14 grams alcohol

“For patients, especially men, it’s very important to ask about alcohol consumption and to recommend moderation when trying to maintain blood pressure control,” explains Agarwal, MD, MPH, Department of Medicine, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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