Alcohol-induced hypertension: Mechanism and prevention PMC

This review included only short‐term randomised controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effects of alcohol on blood pressure and heart rate. Acute alcohol consumption mimics the pattern of social drinking, and evidence indicates that even one glass of an alcoholic drink can increase heart rate. The magnitude of the effects of alcohol on blood pressure and heart rate varies, based possibly on genetic factors and on the amount of alcohol consumed.

If a person thinks that they might be consuming alcohol at a rate that would classify as moderate drinking, heavy drinking, or binge drinking, they should consider cutting back to improve their overall health and well-being. Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of several metabolic conditions, including high blood pressure. According to the published protocol, we intended to include only double‐blind RCTs in this review.

Effects of interventions

Alcohol use was protective against CHD for subjects in most countries, except for people of South Asian ethnicity living in South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka). INTERHEART results also suggested that the protective effect of any alcohol use against MI was greater in women and those over age 45. Finally, data from INTERHEART support the finding that the risk of MI is increased in the 24 hours after consumption of 6 or more drinks, suggesting that binge drinking increases MI risk (table 1).

This can cause you to develop an irregular heartbeat, called atrial fibrillation, which can increase your risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure. Researchers found that people who drank beetroot juice had reduced systolic blood pressure compared with those who did not drink the juice. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure in a person’s arteries when their heart beats. Researchers found this group had a reduced risk of hypertension after drinking 30 grams, about 2 tablespoons, of a specific form of aged white wine every day for 3 weeks. The newest evidence suggests benefits for heart health of drinking alcohol are less and apply to a smaller group of
the population than previously thought. The only group who might see some benefit overall in the UK is women over the age of 55, but and even then only at low levels of drinking – around 5 units a week or less.

Farre 1993 published data only

Researchers were unable to study in-depth the relationship between age, blood pressure, and alcohol intake. There were risks for misclassifications, and it is possible that some participants changed alcohol consumption amounts during the follow-up time. The study also didn’t look at how different types of alcohol influenced blood pressure. Some data relied on self-reporting; further data could include more diverse samples.

If future RCTs include both men and women, it is important that their blood pressure and heart rate readings are reported separately. Although eligible studies included East Asian, Latino, and Caucasian populations, they lacked African, South Asian, and Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander representation. Most of the hypertensive participants in the included studies were Japanese, so it is unclear if the difference in blood pressure between alcohol and placebo groups was due to the presence of genetic variants or the presence of hypertension.

deLorenzo 1988 published data only

This is because high blood pressure very rarely causes any obvious symptoms until a serious acute event such as a heart attack or stroke. For example, some people who are on cholesterol-lowering medicines may experience muscle aches when they drink alcohol. Because alcohol and cholesterol medicine both are processed through your liver, they are, in a sense, competing for clearance. So, it’s important to think about your overall health and talk to a healthcare provider about your personal risk factors.

Increased autophagy as a possible mechanism underlying the adverse myocardial effects of ethanol is intriguing. This is especially true in light of the relationship between a sensor of stress (mTOR) and nutrient deprivation how does alcohol affect blood pressure and how essential autophagy is to cell survival. As noted above, chronic alcohol exposure leads to a decrease in mTOR activity, which corresponds to increased markers of autophagy (Lang and Korzick 2014).

Safe Alcohol Consumption

Among the 34 included studies, only four studies included hypertensive participants. So, it was not possible to conduct a subgroup analysis based on blood pressure. For the planned subgroup analysis based on sex, no study reported male and female participant data separately. The molecular mechanisms through which alcohol raises blood pressure are unclear.

  • As reviewed in the text, data from pharmacologic and transgenic approaches revealed an important role for oxidative stress and the hormone angiotensin II.
  • Drinking alcohol increases blood pressure and repeated drinking causes sustained high blood pressure.
  • The production of NO in the endothelium is critically dependent on the function of eNOS which is regulated by vascular endothelial growth factor[91,92].

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