Drinking Boosts Blood Pressure

Armen Hareyan's picture

Even moderate drinkers are at high risk for high blood pressure. Previous studies proved heavy alcohol consumption leads to hypertension, but this study shows that even those drinking not that much significantly suffer from blood pressure.

Bristol University researchers examined data of 12000 men and women previously involved in similar studies. Previous studies were partially banned, because they did not consider other factors affecting blood pressure, such as exercising, smoking, and diet.

This study excluded all mentioned factors and looked at gene background. There are two types of people:


1. People with alcohol dehydrohenase 2 (ALDH2) in gene who can drink a lot, because ALDH2 eliminates alcoholic chemicals from body right after alcohol consumption.

2. People with no ALDH2 in gene who suffer from side effects, such as headache, drowsiness, intense nausea, and other symptoms. These people generally don't drink much or don't drink at all.

Scientists compared blood pressure levels of both groups and found that even those not drinking much suffer from hypertension.

Dr Lewis from Bristol University's department of social medicine said: "This study shows that alcohol intake may increase blood pressure to a much greater extent, even among moderate drinkers, than previously thought."

The study concludes, that even three units of alcohol a day (for example, two small glasses of wine) almost double the risk for developing high blood pressure.