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Alcohol intake and hypertension

In several studies, persons drinking relatively large amounts of alcohol were found to have higher average blood pressures. The association between alcohol and blood pressure is not explained by adiposity; reported use of salt, coffee, or cigarettes; or by under-reporting of alcohol intake. We examined 12-year follow-up data on two matched groups of 850 hypertensive patients each; one group reported an intake of at least three alcoholic drinks per person per day, and the other group, fewer than three per day or none. Except for a lower rate of hospitalization for coronary disease, for which alcohol may be protective, cardiovascular complications leading to hospitalization or death had similar frequency in the two groups. These preliminary findings suggest that presumed alcohol-induced hypertension is as harmful as other forms of hypertension. A method for distinguishing alcohol-induced from non-alcohol-induced hypertension in drinkers is needed.

Authors: Friedman GD; Klatsky AL; Siegelaub AB

Ann Intern Med. 1983 May;98(5 Pt 2):846-9.

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