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Clin Epidemiol. 2013;5:21-7. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S12152. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Drinking pattern and blood pressure among non-hypertensive current drinkers: findings from 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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Division of Behavioral Surveillance, Public Health Surveillance and Informatics Program Office (PHSIPO), Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services (OSELS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.



Epidemiological studies show the apparent link between excessive alcohol consumption and hypertension. However, the association between alcohol intake and blood pressure among non-hypertensive individuals is scarcely examined.


This analysis included participants in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who were aged 20 to 84 years without a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, hypertension or pregnancy, whose systolic/diastolic blood pressure (SBP/DBP) was lower than 140/90 mmHg, who were not on antihypertensive medication, and who consumed 12 drinks or more during the past 12 months (N = 3957). Average drinking volume (average alcohol intake per day), usual drinking quantity (drinks per day when drinking) and frequency of binge drinking were used to predict SBP/DBP. Covariates included age, gender, race/ethnicity, education level, smoking status, average physical activity level, and daily hours spent on TV/ video/computer.


Drinking volume was directly associated with higher SBP in a linear dependent manner (an increment of 10 g of alcohol per day increased average SBP by 1 mmHg among both men and women). Drinking above the US Dietary Guidelines (men more than two drinks and women more than one drink per drinking day) was associated with higher SBP. Binge drinking was associated with both higher SBP and higher DBP. Average intake greater than two drinks per day was particularly associated with higher DBP among women (P = 0.0003).


This analysis from a population-based survey indicates a direct association between higher alcohol consumption and a higher prevalence of prehypertension among non-hypertensive drinkers.


blood pressure; drinking; ethanol; life style; prehypertension

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