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Alcohol. 1996 Jul-Aug;13(4):387-93.

Hemodynamic alterations in alcohol-related transitory hypertension.

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  • 1Behavioral Sciences Laboratories, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City 73106, USA.


Alcoholic patients are often transiently hypertensive (tHT) during days 1-3 of withdrawal but become normotensive thereafter. However, at 3-4 weeks postwithdrawal these tHT patients may still show exaggerated blood pressure rises to isometric handgrip exercise. We examined the hemodynamic mechanisms associated with persistent altered pressure response. Forty-two alcoholic inpatients were equally divided into three subgroups based on admission BPs: transitory hypertensive (tHT;BP > or = 160/95 mmHg), transitory borderline hypertensive (tBH; 140/ 90 < or = BP < 160/95), and normotensive (NT; BP < 140/90). After 3-4 weeks of sobriety, the alcoholics and a normotensive nonalcoholic group (CONTs; n = 14) were tested during rest and an isometric handgrip task. Impedance cardiographic evaluation at both times showed elevated peripheral resistance, elevated heart rate, and reduced stroke volume in tHTs. Liquor consumption was found to be highly predictive of the altered hemodynamic and BP activity. Alcoholic patients with acute withdrawal hypertension (1-3 days) may show a persistent alteration of BP regulation even when resting pressures are normal.

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