Food Consumer – Lethal Combo:Alcohol and High Blood Pressure

  • Post category:World News

A study conducted in Seoul, South Korea has uncovered a definitive link between binge drinking, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Researchers from the Department of Preventive Medicine in Seoul studied 6,100 men and women from a farming community; they followed study participants for 21 years.
The group was divided into four subcategories:   nondrinkers, non-binge drinkers, moderate binge drinkers and heavy binge drinkers.     As defined by the researchers, moderate binge drinking consisted of 6 or more drinks consumed on one occasion; heavy binging was characterized as drinking 12 or more drinks in one sitting.

Among the male participants who had high blood pressure, 17.87% of them were moderate binge drinkers, while 3.9% fell into the heavy binging category.     There were too few women who said they were binge drinkers to draw any reasonable conclusions.   Additionally, the team emphasized that the study focused on binge drinking only – number of drinks consumed at one time, rather than on total weekly volume.

In moderate bingers with blood pressures of at least 168/100, risk of stroke or heart attack was 4 times greater than in nondrinkers, while heavy binge drinkers increased their risk 12-fold.

The South Korean study confirms some of what Western researchers have discovered in prior research.   According to the American Heart Association, drinking too much alcohol can significantly raise blood pressure.   To keep hypertension in check, the agency advises that women consume no more than 1 drink per day, while men should limit their consumption to two drinks.

However, because alcohol intake has been associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, accidents, obesity, stroke, breast cancer and suicide, the AHA recommends that those who do not currently drink remain abstinent.     If you have trouble moderating your alcohol consumption, the agency suggests contacting your health care provider for a list of resources to help in your endeavor.


Source: Food Consumer, 20/08/10