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Circulation. 1986 Apr;73(4):628-36.

The relationships between alcoholic beverage use and other traits to blood pressure: a new Kaiser Permanente study.


In a new study controlled for many factors, we reconfirmed the relationship of higher blood pressure to alcohol use. This relationship was slightly stronger in men, whites, and persons 55 years of age or older. A slight increase in blood pressure appeared in men who drank one to two drinks daily, and a continuous increase occurred at all higher drinking levels among white men who had constant drinking habits. Among women, an increase occurred only at three or more drinks daily. The data suggest complete regression, beginning within days, of alcohol-associated hypertension upon abstinence. Blood pressure showed minor differences with beverage preference: those who preferred liquor had higher adjusted mean blood pressure than those preferring wine or beer. The results of this study contribute to the likelihood that the alcohol-blood pressure association is causal. Smoking, coffee use, and tea use showed no association with higher blood pressure. Systolic pressure showed a positive relationship to total serum calcium and an inverse relationship to serum potassium, but diastolic pressure showed little relationship to these blood constituents; the explanations include a possible direct effect on regulation of blood pressure.

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