Alcohol-induced hypertension: Mechanism and prevention PMC

Ethanol is classified as a “depressant” because it has a generally slowing effect on brain activity through activation of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) pathways. If your heart muscle is droopy and stretched, it cannot pump blood around your body very well. If the blood flow to other parts of your body is not enough, it can damage organs and tissues. Dr. Cho also warns that if you have liver dysfunction or take other medicines that are processed through the liver, your risks might be different. Talk to your healthcare provider about how alcohol might interact with your prescription medicines. Let’s face it, a hangover in your mid-40s doesn’t feel the same as one in your early 20s.

  • We did not consider the lack of blinding of participants as a downgrading factor for certainty of evidence because we do not think that it affected the outcomes of this systematic review.
  • The trial was registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR).
  • According to a 2018 study and the World Health Organization, no amount of alcohol intake is safe, so any amount may be considered too much.
  • However, people who are dependent on alcohol or have been misusing alcohol for a long period of time may have difficulty quitting.

Assuming that the low SEs of MDs reported in Stott 1987 and Barden 2013 are errors and are not reliable, we replaced these measures with the average SE of MD from the rest of the included studies. We also calculated SD if 95% CI, P value, or t value was reported in the included studies, according to Chapter 7 of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (Higgins 2011). If we were not able to get SD from the study authors or calculate SD from the values mentioned above, we imputed SD using the following hierarchy (listed from highest to lowest) (Musini 2014). We (ST and CT) assessed the risk of bias of included studies independently using the Cochrane risk of bias tool (version 1) according to Chapter 8 of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions for the following domains (Higgins 2011). Two review authors (ST and CT) independently extracted data and assessed the quality of included studies.

Farre 2016 published data only

We reviewed available evidence about the short‐term effects of different doses of alcoholic drinks compared to non‐alcoholic drinks on blood pressure and heart rate in adults (≥ 18 years) with both normal and raised blood pressure. 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.

  • ST and CT will perform the initial search of all the databases to identify citations with potential relevance, and will exclude articles whose titles or abstracts, or both are clearly irrelevant with an initial screen.
  • If your heart muscle is droopy and stretched, it cannot pump blood around your body very well.
  • That fourth drink at the bar may feel like it’s relaxing you, but it’s actually affecting your body differently than you might think.
  • A healthcare professional can help a person find treatment and support to help them stop drinking or lower their intake.

However, the abuse of alcohol increases the risk of cardiovascular, hepatic and nervous system disorders (Bellentani 1997; Fuchs 2001; Gao 2011; Lieber 1998; McCullough 2011; Nutt 1999; Welch 2011). Also, multiple studies have found associations between consumption of alcoholic beverages and specific cancers (Seitz 2007; Kushi 2012). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that in 2012 around 3.3 million how does alcohol affect blood pressure deaths worldwide were caused by alcohol abuse (WHO 2014). Despite the progress in standardizing measurement of alcohol, studies still vary in how they define the different levels of drinking, such as low-risk or moderate and heavy drinking. Most often, low-risk or moderate drinking has been defined as 1 to 2 standard drinks per day and heavy alcohol consumption as 4 or more standard drinks per day.

Kawano 2004 published data only

In fact, several studies have shown that drinking red wine regularly raises blood pressure, according to an April 2023 review in Nutrients1. A 2019 study suggests that drinking hibiscus tea twice per day alongside lifestyle and dietary strategies may help reduce blood pressure in people with stage 1 hypertension. 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 findings of this review support the current recommendations to avoid alcohol. The regular consumption of over 30 g/day of alcohol increases hypertension risk in linear proportion to the dosage and may independently cause cardiac damage in hypertensive patients. The type of alcoholic beverage also determines the impact on health, with red wine being considered healthy, for instance, due to the high polyphenol content.

  • If you’re generally healthy and under 40 years old, you should have your blood pressure checked every two to five years.
  • One recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that in 17,059 participants, those who drank moderately and those who drank heavily were both at significantly higher risk of high blood pressure than those who never drank.
  • In various biologic systems, oxidative stress can be measured or inferred by several biologic indexes.
  • In contrast, women eliminate alcohol from the body a little faster than men (Thomasson 2000).

Hypertension occurs when the pressure of blood against the artery walls becomes higher than normal. There is evidence that reducing alcohol intake can help lower blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension and even prevent its development. Completely refraining from consuming alcohol lowers the risk of some of the health risks listed above.

Description of studies

Alcohol has been a part of almost every human culture for a very long time (McGovern 2009). Many people use it for medicinal purposes because of its hypnotic/sedative and analgesic effects (Immonen 2011; Williams 1980). Also, an inverse relationship between light to moderate alcohol consumption and total mortality was reported in a meta‐analysis (Di Castelnuovo 2006).

how does alcohol affect your blood pressure

We are aware of one systematic review on effects of alcohol on blood pressure that was published in 2005 (McFadden 2005). McFadden 2005 included both randomised and non‐randomised studies with a minimum of 24 hours of blood pressure observation after alcohol consumption. This systematic review searched only the MEDLINE database for relevant studies, hence it was not exhaustive. Review authors included nine studies involving a total of 119 participants, and the duration of these studies was between four and seven days.

About the author: wp